Super Bowl Tickets No Guarantee for Cardinals' Fans

The Arizona Cardinals are in the Super Bowl.

A day later, it still hasn't really sunk in, probably not even to the 20,000 or so faithful that are Cardinals' season ticket holders. Unlike other major sports like the NBA or Major League Baseball however, where season seat buyers are guaranteed tickets to the championship if their team makes it that far, the Super Bowl makes no such promises.

Since the NFL's championship game is played at a predetermined, neutral site location every year, fans of the teams playing in the game mostly are left to fend for themselves. Out of the 70,500 seats in Raymond James Stadium, only 11,000 will be made available to each of the participating teams. And of those 11,000, not all are going directly to the fans.

The Cardinals have said that they will divide their allotment nearly equally into three groups of people: season-ticket holders; sponsors and suite holders; and players, coaches and team officials. Doesn't sound like all that many will actually reach the average fans who have suffered with the team through thick and thin, does it? Ron Minegar, Cardinals chief operating officer, thinks that they're doing things as fairly as possible, given the circumstances.

"People realize it's a tough ticket, and we are trying to set up a process that is fan-friendly and equitable. Not everyone will be able to get a ticket, but we are trying to be fair and do everything we can," Minegar said.

Even if fans win the lottery for tickets, what they're really winning is nothing more than the opportunity to spend an exorbitant amount of money: the tickets themselves would cost $800 each, not to mention airfare and hotel expenses for the trip all the way from Arizona to Tampa, Florida.

The NFL uses its Super Bowl tickets as a reward for their biggest sponsors, and they allot a good chunk of the remaining tickets to the other 30 teams that didn't manage to make it that far. What they should do is increase the allotment to the two teams that are playing in the game, so the atmosphere can be less sterile and have more of the passion and excitement that a championship game of this magnitude deserves.

Even with the limited possibility of winning the lottery for tickets -- and the prohibitive expense of attending the event -- Cardinals' fans will likely beg, borrow, or steal their way into Super Bowl XLIII. With their team's last championship coming 61 years ago, money will undoubtedly be no object.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us