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Super expensive

Tickets, hotel, airfare will be at premium for Pats faithful heading to Indianapolis

By Katie Johnston and Erin Ailworth
Globe Staff / January 24, 2012
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New England Patriots fans planning to attend the team’s Super Bowl rematch with the New York Giants Feb. 5 in Indianapolis should prepare to shell out for tickets starting at $2,500, round trip airfare averaging more than $1,000,and closest available hotel rooms running at $500 a night.

Even those trying to save a few bucks would pay $170 a night to roll out a sleeping bag on the floor of a downtown Indianapolis company that is renting out its meeting space over Super Bowl weekend.

A limited number of Patriot season ticket holders, chosen by lottery, were able to buy tickets, ranging in price from about $800 to $1,200, but most others will have to pay a lot more.

Ace Ticket, the Patriots’ official ticket reseller, has already sold 50-yard-line seats for $7,500, and expects prices to meet, if not exceed, what fans paid to watch last year’s game near Fort Worth between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Ace Ticket powers the Boston Globe’s online sports ticketing platform on Boston.com.)

The most ardent fans are unlikely to be deterred by the costs, said Patrick Rishe, an associate professor of economics at Webster University in St. Louis. Eager for a rematch with the Giants, who beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl four years ago to ruin a perfect season, many will find economies where they can, settling for cheaper accommodations farther away from Lucas Oil Stadium or making the 16-hour trek by car.

“Will the Patriots get revenge for their bashed hopes and dreams from a few years ago? You’ve got that element,’’ said Rishe. “When it comes to the Super Bowl . . . the only thing that really impacts spending is the weather.’’

Airfare between Boston and Indianapolis is averaging $1,045 round trip over Super Bowl weekend, according to Orbitz.com, more than double the typical price at this time of year. Indianapolis has less than a third of the approximately 25,000 downtown hotel rooms that most Super Bowl cities have, and all of those have been snapped up by tour operators and the National Football League.

“It’s going to be slim pickings,’’ said James Payne of IndySuperRentals.com, which is renting one-bedroom condos downtown for $850 a night and nine-bedroom mansions for $12,000 a night.

Fans can expect to pay about $500 a night for rooms 15 miles outside the city - which normally go for $85 on weekends, according to Orbitz. Rooms at the Hampton Inn 10 miles outside Indianapolis were going for $1,000 a night yesterday.

Many hotels are requiring guests to stay at least four nights, with nonrefundable payment up front, said Amy Carey, market manager in Indianapolis for Orbitz. Fans who only want to stay two nights may have to venture as far as 60 miles outside the city.

Rental car rates in Indianapolis have also doubled over Super Bowl weekend, she said with cars going for about $100 a day.

Those looking to save money might consider flying into Chicago, about $180 round trip from Boston, and making the two-hour drive to Lafayette, Ind., where hotels are going for about $135 a night. From there, it’s a 60-mile drive to Indianapolis.

Those determined to stay in downtown Indianapolis might want to check out Kim Turk’s offer on the Patriots’ Facebook page. Her company, a home health care firm located less than three miles from the stadium, is renting its multipurpose room for people who don’t mind sleeping on the floor - and sharing it with 20 or 30 other people. The company is charging $500 per person for a three-night stay in a 1,200-square-foot carpeted space, with access to a kitchen, three bathrooms - two with showers - and Wi-Fi.

Turk, the company’s human resources director, said the space is ideal for a group of friends going to the game together, but she is willing to accept separate reservations, too - provided they are all on the same side.

“If they’re all rooting for the same team, it really doesn’t matter,’’ she said.

Katie Johnston can be reached at kjohnston@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @ktkjohnston. Erin Ailworth can be reached at eailworth@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @ailworth.

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