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Dec 10 2013

Can you take a helicopter to the Super Bowl?

This year’s Super Bowl is coming up and for the first time it is going to be held in an open-air stadium in a region of the country (New Jersey) where the winter weather can get pretty bad. But what interested me was this news report describing the restrictions on how people can actually get to the stadium.

Basically, if you do not have a parking pass for your car, your options are very limited. You are not allowed to get to the gates by taxi or limousine. Incredibly, you are not allowed to even walk to the stadium. So you have to either take the New Jersey transit or a charter bus called the Fan Express that will pick up passengers at nine locations around the region and costs $51.

They have also outlawed that other bizarre side-show of football, the tail-gate parties, where people basically bring their own grills and food and drinks and have a picnic in the parking lot. Why people would go all that distance to just sit outside the stadium in the cold during the game, when they could be watching it in the comfort of their home, is beyond me.

The kind of people who are willing to spend more than three hours in a freezing cold stadium watching huge men beat the stuffing out of each other will probably see all these as minor inconveniences. But I am curious how the elite will react to not being able to arrive in their limousines.

11 comments

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  1. 1
    Loqi

    What a silly bunch of restrictions. You can’t *walk* to the stadium? That’s absurd. Of course, with the kind of disposable income one must have in order to attend the Super Bowl, I’m having a hard time conjuring up the amount of sympathy for the ripped-off that I normally would.

  2. 2
    Al Dente

    I have no doubt that a limousine owner will be able to get a parking pass. Some car owners are more equal than others.

  3. 3
    Leo Buzalsky

    I would guess the rationale* for why they won’t let people walk is for security reasons, probably with the idea being the fewer points of entry the better.
    * So I’m not trying to defend them at all…just speculating.

  4. 4
    dmcclean

    Why people would go all that distance to just sit outside the stadium in the cold during the game, when they could be watching it in the comfort of their home, is beyond me.

    (emphasis added)

    Actually this is something of a misconception. Somebody has to (pay to) sit outside in the stadium in the cold during the game (unless it’s indoors, of course), or else local fans actually can’t watch it from the comfort of their homes.

    This has been the case since 1973, according to this Wikipedia article on the topic.

    There are many layers to the NFL’s money-making schemes.

  5. 5
    Crimson Clupeidae

    dmcclean, I don’t think that’s true of the Superbowl.

    Hrm, I work for a company that flies rather large helicopters……I need to let our marketing people know about this $$$$$ making opportunity!

  6. 6
    Trebuchet

    I will be watching from the comfort of my home. And my local team even has a good chance of being there this year!

  7. 7
    dmcclean

    I think you’re right, Wylann. There are so many exceptions to the exceptions…

  8. 8
    Mano Singham

    My point was about the tailgaters who sit outside the stadium, not outside in the stadium.

  9. 9
    dmcclean

    Good point. I would say one driver of that is probably open container laws. If you could drink in the back of someones pickup truck while you are stuck in traffic for an hour, people might do that and aim to show up closer to the start.

    For some reason my cousins and brothers want to drink as many beers as possible right before game time. The parking lot is across the street from the stadium and the state troopers make sure everyone throws away their beer before they cross into the street. (Because, of course, it’s a 5 minute walk and so you wouldn’t want to stop drinking when you leave your car.) Once you cross the street you are back on private property, and so sometimes they even hide another one in their coat and open it after crossing the street, because there is another 5 minute walk.

    Something to be said for camaraderie, but it also gets carried a little too far when it is 5:30 pm in January, raining, 30 degrees, and you are huddled under a tarp waiting for a game that doesn’t start for another 3 hours.

  10. 10
    Marcus Ranum

    Don’t give them any ideas, or there’ll be a red-carpet dropoff area where the elite can appear, strut, then hide. There are rubes who’d pay big money for that…

  11. 11
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    I really love $LOCAL_BELOVED_SPORT. It is always so exciting when the $POSITION_NAME is able to $VERB the $MCGUFFIN into the $SCOREHOLE with such $CONTEXTUALLY_POSITIVE_DESCRIPTIVE_NOUN!

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