The Ultimate Guide to Super Bowl 53
Though it’s still months away, Super Bowl 53 is already set to take over the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Sunday, February 3. 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.
Here’s everything you need to know about getting to, attending and enjoying the big game.
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 2018 SB never dropped below $3,900. 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 Mercedes-Benz 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 53 Take Place?
Super Bowl 53 will be held on Sunday, February 3 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. The venue opened in 2017 and is home to the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United FC.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium Seating Chart
Mercedes-Benz Stadium Seating Capacity
The cutting edge design of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium allows it to expand its seating capacity based on the event being held there. Typically a football game will seat 71,000, but can hold as many as 83,000. A two-tier soccer game holds 42,500 people, but can expand to 72,035 for a three-tier game.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium History
Since breaking ground in 2014 and finally opening in 2017, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium has made quite a name for itself as one of North America’s premiere venues. Located in downtown Atlanta just blocks from Centennial Olympic Park, this massive open-air stadium (with a retractable roof!) is home-base for the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United FC, and will host several major sporting events in the coming years. With an estimated construction cost of $1.6 billion, expect nothing but top-notch amenities and design from one of Atlanta’s hottest new attractions.
Best Food & Drink Inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium
The Mercedes-Benz Stadium implores a “Fan-First” policy when it comes to food and drink inside the venue. This means it strives for an affordable and varied selection of offerings, plus speedy and consistent service throughout the stadium. Above all else, the quality and diversity of the food is much higher than other sporting venues. Some specialty eats include Delia’s Chicken Sausage, Fox Bros. BBQ and Goose Island Carvery. There are also plenty of fan favorites like Capital Crust, Fresh Mex, Chick-fil-A and Papa John’s.
In terms of libations, head to the Anheuser-Busch carts or look for Corona and Heinekens for a standard light beer. For craft beer lovers, the Terrapin Brewing Neighborhood Bar has several IPAs and ales on tap. Liquor and wine can also be found throughout the stadium, including the Absolut Vodka Neighborhood Bar and the Jack Daniel’s Neighborhood Bar.
Head here to explore the entire food and drink menu, broken out by concourse number.
Super Bowl 53 Accommodations
Where to Stay
Hotels Near Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Hotels during Super Bowl weekend fill up quickly, so if you’re at all interested in attending the 2019 game then you should book now. Many hotels allow you to book now and pay later, and you can often cancel up to 24 hours from an event. For those renting a car, consider staying outside the city and driving in as there may be more options. Here are our four favorite hotels in downtown Atlanta near the Super Bowl.
Embassy Suites at Centennial Olympic Park
Located at Centennial Olympic Park in the heart of Atlanta, the Embassy Suites offers a more upscale (but affordable) stay and is the perfect hotel for a two-person trip. In addition to a myriad of amenities, it’s also attached to a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and just blocks away from the city’s main attractions. Book now
Omni Atlanta Hotel
Enjoy breathtaking views of downtown Atlanta while treating yourself to the Omni’s full-service spa, or head over to the adjacent College Football Hall of Fame for some sightseeing. Book now
Modern glam meets Southern charm at the Ritz Carlton Atlanta. Parents can enjoy the luxury experience of the hotel while the children become “VIK.” These Very Important Kids will receive a complimentary coloring book with crayons, plus a self-guided scavenger hunt through the hotel. Book now
The Ellis Hotel
Voted Atlanta’s number one hotel by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine in 2017, this boutique hotel has a wellness room, a dog-friendly floor, and a “fresh air floor.” It was also recently remodeled, including a newly expanded fitness center. Book now
Renting an Apartment or House
For those traveling with a large group or who just want a more comfortable at-home experience, AirBnB and this list of all the public parking garages in the city.
Touted as “a smarter way to park,” Parkmobile serves as the official parking app for the stadium. It allows users to pay for on and off-street parking from their mobile device, months in advance of an event. (It’s also available for all of North America, not just Atlanta.)
Available on desktop and as an app, SpotHero uses an interactive map to compare current parking spot prices throughout the city. It also allows users to filter by monthly or hourly rates, and uses helpful icons to indicate the amenities at each garage (valet, handicap accessible, etc).
For those driving, be sure to download Waze for all your navigation needs. Waze is partnered with the stadium and is the only GPS program with event-day traffic plans and street closures incorporated, providing folks with accurate directions and real-time traffic alerts. Attendees have been advised to NOT use Google Maps, Apple Maps, or any other mapping software.
Due to the central location of Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta, getting to the venue via public transportation is cinch. MARTA, the city-wide rail and bus system, has two stops that drop attendees directly in front of the stadium. Purchase a Breeze Card for $2, and then for just $2.50 (each way) fans can avoid the hassle of driving in city traffic. The preferred stop for arrival and departure is: GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center Station. (Check out the MARTA rail map here.)
If you’re looking to get a bit of exercise in, consider biking to the venue. The Mercedes-Benz Stadium has a partnership with Atlanta Bicycle Coalition to provide a valet service for major sporting events, which allows riders to easily check-in and park bikes at one of the 250 racks located around the stadium. (Check out the bicycle preferred route map here.)
Of course there’s always Uber and Lyft available in Atlanta for convenient transportation to the stadium. The latter of which has designated drop-off and pick-up locations outside the venue. Gate 1 will have access to the primary and largest Lyft zone, while Gate(s) 2, 3 and 4 will take you to the corner of Centennial Olympic Park which is a slightly smaller zone.
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 just three blocks from the Super Bowl security entrance. Click here for more details.
Tailgating at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Tailgating is allowed at the majority of the parking garages surrounding the stadium (see designated parking lots here), with lots opening up about five hours prior to kickoff. Vehicles may only take up one parking space, and tailgating equipment (including grills, chairs and coolers) may not extend beyond the space or impede vehicles driving through the lot.
Places to Eat & Drink Near Super Bowl 53
Second only to the actual event itself, finding the perfect pre-or post-game eats is essential to your live experience. Here are some of the best places located within walking distance to the venue.
Max’s Coal Oven Pizzeria
Get New York-style pizzas in a warehouse-style restaurant. Besides the coal-burning oven that’s cooking up pies, you can enjoy the salads, pasta and wings out on their spacious patio. View the menu
If you’re in the mood for pretzels and beer (and who isn’t) look no further than Der Biergarten. With plentiful seating both inside and out, this laid-back beer garden is especially good for large groups. View the menu
Looking to catch a game while in town, or just want some above-average pub fare? This restaurant/bar offers up an expansive list of beer, wine, and cocktails alongside salads, starters and sandwiches. View the menu
This contemporary Japanese restaurant serves classic Asian dishes fused with local Southern flavor. Come in for the Centennial Passion Roll and leave with the mac and cheese at Thrive. View the menu
Head here for more delicious eats in the area.