The Ultimate Guide to Super Bowl 52
Super Bowl 52 is right around the corner. Actually, it’s on Sunday, February 4, 2018 to be precise. Although we don’t yet know what two teams will make it all the way to the Big Game, rabid sports fans are already making arrangements to get to Minneapolis, the host city and home of the U.S. Bank Stadium where the 2018 event will be held. Whether it’s your first time attending the Super Bowl or your fiftieth, traveling out of town for one of the hottest tickets in sports raises a lot of questions. Luckily, we have the answers.
How to Buy Super Bowl Tickets
Acquiring Super Bowl tickets, at least face value ones, is no easy task. But it’s not impossible! Let’s break it down.
Season Ticket Holders
Season ticket holders are automatically entered into a lottery for their chance to buy primary SB tickets. But not every season ticket holder is equal: preference is given to those whose team has made it to the Super Bowl, the number and type of seats you own, and how long you’ve owned said seats. For the lucky chosen few, you can pick up your tickets on game day at the box office.
For People in the NFL
The NFL distributes 74.8% of Super Bowl tickets to their teams. The remaining 25.2% of tickets are then spread out between the media, partners and sponsors. Only a small amount are then sold to fans via “packages” which are mostly scooped up by ticket brokers well in advance of the game (which then trickles down to you, the buyer). In essence, it’s almost impossible for the Average Joe to get a Super Bowl ticket from a primary source.
For the 2017 Super Bowl and going forward, the NFL announced that they were allocating 6,000 tickets away from the participating teams and instead funneling them into more Super Bowl packages. Those packages will be sold to fans via the NFL On Location Experience Company.
On the Secondary Market
Because of this, most people who want to go to the game turn to the secondary market for tickets. The secondary market just means the ticket is not being sold from the original source, and the price point is dictated by how hot the ticket is rather than the original cost. Super Bowl tickets can get very pricey on the secondary market; on average tickets for the 2017 SB ranged from $2,500-$3,000.
SeatGeek lists secondary tickets (as well as primary for select markets), including Super Bowl inventory. Leading up to Super Bowl LI we outlined all the features available on SeatGeek to help you save money and purchase tickets confidently. Some of these include our ticket price tracker, Deal Score, and a ticket guarantee. SeatGeek also has seat views of the U.S. Bank Stadium on its venue page, so customers can check out where they’re sitting before making a purchase. You can read about each feature in depth here, or head to our Super Bowl event page to look at what is currently available for the game.
Where Will Super Bowl 52 Take Place?
Super Bowl 52 will be held on Sunday, February 4, 2018 at the U.S. Bank Stadium located in Minneapolis, MN. The one-year-old stadium is also home to the Minnesota Vikings.
U.S. Bank Stadium Seating Chart
U.S. Bank Stadium Capacity
The U.S. Bank Stadium currently holds 66,200 stadium seats, but can be expanded to fit up to 70,000 people.
U.S. Bank Stadium History
The U.S. Bank Stadium broke ground at the end of 2013, on the former site of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. It officially opened on July 22, 2016, a little over a month before the Vikings would play their first pre-season game there. It allegedly cost over $1 billion to create, with portions of the money coming from the state of Minnesota, the city of Minneapolis, the Vikings and private contributors. Besides Super Bowl 52, the 2019 NCAA Final Four, the 2020 NCAA Division 1 Wrestling Champions, and the 2017 and 2018 ESPN X Games will all call the venue home in the coming years.
Best Food and Drink in U.S. Bank Stadium
The U.S. Bank Stadium has partnered with local restaurants to provide attendees with an elevated dining experience. We’re not talking hot dogs and Cracker Jacks, people. Head to level 100 for a slew of amazing eats, including the fried chicken at Revival or some slow-roasted meat at Canteen Rotisserie (developed by Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern). For a new take on old stadium food, check out the bratwursts at Kramarczuk’s or the hotdogs at Prairie Dogs. Folks looking for healthier options can check out the Wild Rice Market, which features salads and gluten free beer. Unfortunately vegans will have to get creative with the stadium offerings, as outside food is not permitted.
There is also plenty of alcohol on tap at the stadium, including cocktails, Bloody Marys (for those early games), and craft beer. Caribou Coffee Bar will provide the caffeination, and water is always available.
Super Bowl 52 Accommodations
Where to stay
While the vast majority of hotels are already sold out for Super Bowl 52 weekend, don’t be discouraged. There are still a few places with available space on Hotels.com and Booking.com if you act quickly. Keep in mind that many people book refundable rooms in advance and may cancel it if their team doesn’t make it to the Super Bowl, so don’t be afraid to call the front desk of an otherwise sold out hotel. For those renting a car, consider staying somewhere farther outside the city and driving in as there may be more options. Although there is limited vacancy currently, it wouldn’t hurt to check in on these popular hotels near U.S. Bank Stadium to see if there have been any cancellations:
-Radisson RED Minneapolis Downtown / Official Website / 612-252-5400
-Aloft Minneapolis / Official Website / 612-455-8400
-Hyatt Place Minneapolis/Downtown / Official Website / 612-333-3111
-Best Western Plus The Normandy Inn & Suites / Official Website / 612 -370-1400
-The Hotel Minneapolis / Official Website / 612-340-2000
For those traveling with a large group, or who just want a more comfortable at-home experience, AirBnB is a great option. There are all sorts of rentals still available, from apartments and condos, to townhouses and single rooms. The only downside to booking an AirBnB over a hotel is that you have to pay the cost upfront rather than at the time of check-in.
Super Bowl 52 Transportation Options
This is probably the most empowering option depending on whether you have parking at homebase. Try Rentalcars.com for a great deal on a flexible way to get around.
If you want to skip traffic and high parking costs, public transit is an easy and affordable way to get around town. The metro features four color-coded transit lines that run through Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and the green and blue line stop right at U.S. Bank Stadium. After the game, blue line buses will take you straight from the stadium to Fort Snelling, 28th Avenue, and Mall of America non-stop.
On the day of the Super Bowl, the Blue Line light-rail trains between Mall of America and downtown Minneapolis will be restricted to Super Bowl ticket holders who also have a $30 light-rail “Gameday Pass.” If you’re planning on utilizing public transpo during your trip, this will likely be your best and most cost-effective option.
They’re bound to abound in the days leading up to and after the game, so you can always rely on apps to get you where you need to go. Wait times might be higher than usual, and prices might be steeper than usual, but the ease of a few taps is hard to resist. If you or somebody in your party has never used one of these ride-sharing apps, utilize their referral discount codes for cheaper fares.
Where to Park for the Super Bowl
511 Surface Lot and 511 Ramp (511 Building) – Enter on South 6th Street.
1010 Ramp (1010 South 7th Street) – Enter on 10th Ave South.
Downtown East Ramp (425 Park Avenue) – Enter on Park Ave.
HCMC Ramp (600 Park Avenue) – Enter on South 6th Street.
Mills Fleet Farm Garage (740 S 4th Street) – Enter on South 3rd Street
Aside from those lots (which will fill up quickly), search Parkwhiz.com for more availability near the venue or near a metro station.
Tailgating at the Super Bowl
A Super Bowl without tailgating is like a Grateful Dead concert without Shakedown Street. It just ain’t the same. Folks who don’t even have tickets to the game will likely show up to the tailgate just to soak in the energy and excitement of the fans.
The Players Tailgate
Created by Bullseye Event Group, the Players Tailgate is the premiere Super Bowl tailgating experience. For $750 big ones you can hang with NFL players, celebs and other guests, while eating and drinking in preparation for the big game. The ticket includes open bars and all-you-can-eat dining with gourmet food, plus the party is located directly across the street from the skywalk connected to US Bank Stadium. Click here for more details.
Tailgating at U.S. Bank Stadium
According to the U.S. Bank Stadium’s website, “Tailgating is part of the U.S. Bank Stadium guest experience. Authorized tailgating in designated parking lots and ramps will be specific for Minnesota Vikings Games ONLY. Tailgating at all other U.S. Bank Stadium events will be authorized only by the parking lot operator.”
Tailgating for all weekend games is open five hours prior to kick-off, while weekday games are open three hours early. Tailgating must also end three hours after the game, or at midnight (whichever comes first). For a complete list of rules, regulations as well as prohibited items, please visit the official U.S. Bank Stadium website.
Things to Do in Minneapolis
Food & Drink
Late-night pizza known as Minnesota’s best. Try their Fire Breathing Dragon pie for a spicy jerk flavor or one of their many vegan options, like the Wild Mushroom and Arugula. Top it off with a featured beer from the local Badger Hill Brewing Company.
Loring & Pharmacy Bar
New ownership at this classic Dinkytown restaurant has vowed to maintain the amazing pasta that locals love, plus a tasteful redesign. As you feast on their Goat Cheese Ravioli, think about how a tambourine man named Bob Dylan used to live right upstairs.
Home of the Jucy Lucy Burger, a double pattied burger with cheese in the middle, Matt’s Bar is a Minneapolis staple. At just $7.50, it’s more than worth the trip.
This Minneapolis creamery is known for it’s quirky ice cream expressions. Food for thought: an ice cream sandwich made from Glam Doll Donuts. Woah.
Caribbean and Southern US inspired rotisserie cuisine with meat a la carte and flavorful sides, including pulled chicken and crispy yuca. They have a vegetarian menu as well, so everyone can enjoy some deliciously slow cooked grub.
Angel Food Bakery
Watch these expert pastry chefs make sweet treats right before your eyes, or order their mouthwatering specialties in advance. The object of dreams: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Bars.
At this local brewery, pints of their craftiest crafts–like the surprisingly smooth Bottlecap Mosaic IPA–are only $5 a pop. Once you’ve had a flight of their brews, take home your fave for only 8 bucks a growler.
The Bachelor Farmer/Marvel Bar
This restaurant and sister bar were founded by brothers who sought to preserve the character of a space built in 1881. The Bachelor Farmer features food from local farms and their rooftop garden that is simple and creative. After dinner, head to Marvel Bar, located behind an unmarked purple door below the restaurant, for one of their inventive cocktails – like the olive oil and egg white-based Oliveto.
First Avenue Nightclub
Surviving decades of popular music, from psychedelic rock to hip-hop, this nightclub springboarded the careers of multiple local musicians. Prince, a Minneapolis native, shot a few scenes of his film Purple Rain here and recorded the fan-favorite version of the song live at First Ave in 1983. Go for a night of live music and you may just be watching the next artist to merit a star on the venue’s facade.
Mississippi Boat Tour
If there’s one thing you’ll remember after leaving Minneapolis, it’s water. Take a boat tour on the Mississippi and make all that water a memorable part of your epic trip.
The Basilica of St. Mary
Regardless of whether you’re religious, you’ll find the oldest basilica in the United States absolutely stunning. Built in 1871, it sports a 138-foot dome with a 62-foot cross atop and granite walls with huge stained glass windows. Go for Sunday mass at 9:30 to hear a 90-voice choir.
Mall of America
Take a short trip on the Metro Blue Rail to this world famous mall sporting over 500 stores, restaurants, and bars. Then really fall in love with Minnesota when you realize there’s no sales tax.
Wabasha Street Caves
During prohibition, these limestone tunnels were speakeasies that served real gangsters. Today, you can take a tour of the caves or go on a Thursday for Swing Night, with live jazz bumping late into the evening. Be sure to remember the speakeasy password: “Gus sent me.”
For fans of indie hip-hop, this Rhymesayers Entertainment Store is a must-stop shop. Pick up a hoodie of your rap hero or their latest vinyl drop.
A beloved indie movie theatre where tickets are only $3. Go for date night and thank your loved ones for supporting your football obsession.
The Children’s Theatre Company
The only children’s theatre company in the world to win a Tony. If you’re bringing the kids, it’s worth taking a peep at what this troupe is showing. It may just be your little one’s favorite part of the whole trip.
2018 Maxim Super Bowl Party
Celebrities and athletes flock to the yearly Maxim Super Bowl Party, where Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, and Lil Wayne have performed in years past. If you can find an invitation code (hint: Google), you could find yourself amongst VIPs at the open bar.