Super Bowl XLVIII: What you need to know
(CNN) — This is not your typical Super Bowl Sunday.
There are things that are down. The temperature, for one. Ticket prices, in some cases, are another.
A few things are up. The cost of the ads many people will be tuning in for — a record $4.5 million.
The security presence, even by Super Bowl standards, will be big.
So how about some good news?
Weather forecasters say that by game time — note to party hosts, 6:30 p.m. ET — a clipper system will have moved through New Jersey, leaving just a few inches of new snow behind in East Rutherford. Temperatures will be in the mid-30s at kickoff.
That’s not as nice as past Super Bowl sites like Miami (high of 79 on Sunday), Tampa (81) or next year’s host city, Glendale, Arizona (73), but compared with what might have happened this crazy winter, it must be the NFL’s best imagined scenario.
Not that they haven’t planned for other possibilities.
“We feel like we’re prepared for every alternative,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN’s “Mike & Mike in the Morning” on Monday. That included moving the time of the game if league officials felt like the safety of the fans was in jeopardy. “We’re working with all the officials here. We’re pretty comfortable we’ll be playing at 6:30 on Sunday night.”
Goodell has said he will sit out in the stands, just as the late Pete Rozelle did at Super Bowl VI when it was 39 degrees for the kickoff in New Orleans at Tulane Stadium.
Security by land, sea and air
Huge sporting events like the Olympics and Super Bowl always draw large security forces as did prior events at MetLife Stadium, site of Sunday’s game. Lt. Col Ed Cetnar of the New Jersey State Police told CNN this is a different ballgame.
There will be more than 700 troopers in and around the stadium complex, he said. But they won’t be the only people guarding the game.
“There’s eyes all over the place, whether it’s state, local, federal or county assets there,” he told CNN’s Alexandra Field.
That also includes 3,000 private security guards on site. And extra security for mass transit options because there will only be 12,000 parking spots at the game for 80,000 fans and 5,000 media members.
“There is a template within the NFL and there are certain things that we follow with the NFL. But we have to use our own template because every city is different,” he told CNN. “Obviously it’s different than other Super Bowls because of our proximity to New York City.”
The proximity of the stadium to waterways and railways will mean extra Coast Guard boats on game day and more planes from federal agencies in the sky equipped with infrared and night-vision systems.
Homeland Security officials said federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, will deploy hundreds of employees to assist New Jersey and New York police secure what’s been officially designated “an event of national significance.”
And there is one noticeable difference for fans, a change instituted for this NFL season. In light of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, if fans want to bring a bag bigger than 4 ½ by 6 ½ inches, it must be clear plastic. (Even the garbage being taken out has to go in clear bags).
An affordable Super Bowl?
Well, not quite for many fans. But prices of game day tickets on the secondary market have been sliding since the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks each won their conference championship games.
On the NFL’s official ticket exchange site, more than 3,300 tickets were available, starting at a little more than $1,600. There were almost 4,800 tickets on StubHub, a popular online ticket reseller.
As Bleacher Report points out, with the game in the New York metropolitan area and featuring a top-rated offense versus a top-rated defense, it seemed like prices would have been astronomical.
But that hasn’t been the case in the past week.
SeatGeek, which aggregates listings from ticket resellers, said the Super Bowl might be the least expensive since 2002, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Seat Geek said the prices for all seats has dropped 40% since the two conference championship games about nine days ago.
The big drop in prices for the game have been in the end zone and upper deck seats, the paper reported.
SeatGeek spokesman Will Flaherty told the Denver Post: “Strong supply and uncertainty about the weather forecast has helped to keep prospective buyers on the sideline for now, driving prices downward at a record rate.”
So now that the weather will be practically balmy for this time of year, back accounts might be emptied after all.
Or just watch on TV
Watching the game on television means seeing all of the famed Super Bowl commercials. That way you’ll get to see all 32 minutes and 30 seconds with the other partygoers without having to watch online the next day.
Of course you can get a glimpse of some of the ads before the game and not have to slip off to the bathroom during actual game action.
For some companies the game is an opportunity to take $4.5 million to say “hi” to new potential buyers.
“The Super Bowl for us is a risk. We do a lot of marketing, but it’s the first time we’ll hit a really mass consumer audience,” Squarespace CEO Anthony Casalena told the New York Times.
Squarespace is among the companies that have posted a commercial on YouTube already.
The company’s blog said it will also release an extended version of the spot and some of the material that was cut after the game.
There will also be one ad from a small company that wins a 30-second commercial paid for by financial software company Intuit. The contest was open to any U.S.-based business with 50 or fewer full-time employees.
The commercial will air during the third quarter.
This year’s Super Bowl will have 43 advertisers, according to CNNMoney.