Patriots Fans Considering Super Bowl Trips Should Be Aware of Ticket, Travel Pitfalls
BOSTON - January 23, 2012 - The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is alerting Patriot fans considering a possible trip to Indianapolis to potential scams and misleading offers in the two weeks leading up the Super Bowl.
Before packing bags for the game, fans considering a trip to the Super Bowl should make sure they are purchasing actual tickets from a legitimate source. Fans should also look into the details of travel packages, making sure tickets are guaranteed and accommodations meet their standards.
"The Patriots in the Super Bowl is a great sports moment and fans who want to be there will need a great deal of money to be there. Unfortunately, this event brings along with it plenty of scammers and false advertisements that will leave fans feeling less than super by game time," said Barbara Anthony, the Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. "Fans need to take time to make sure their tickets are coming from a valid source, and their travel packages meet their needs."
Super Bowl tickets on the secondary market are expensive, with prices starting at $2,225 on StubHub on Wednesday, January 18. The NFL's official ticket reseller is Ticketmaster, but there are a number of outlets selling tickets on websites. Fans should buy tickets only from legitimate, licensed resellers and not rely on ads on Craigslist and eBay for tickets.
Travel packages offer the convenience of purchasing accommodations, airfare and tickets, often along with added benefits like souvenirs and access to some parties. But the packages may not always live up to their advertising. The Office of Consumer Affairs found one online package last week that said the hotel was "just a few minutes from downtown Indianapolis." An online search found the hotel to be 17 miles from the RCA Dome, at the center of downtown Indianapolis. The package, which included an upper level end zone seat and an assortment of benefits like a "game day cocktail party with a former NFL great," started at $4,895.
If fans are considering purchasing a travel package, they should ask the following:
- Do I have to pay all the costs up front?
- Is the hotel at the level of quality you desire and where is it located?
- Is a ticket to the game guaranteed? Where in the stadium is the seat?
- What are the flight details?
- What kind of ground transportation, if any, is offered? Will travel arrangements get you to the game on time?
- Does the package offer access to parties or other benefits? If so, are they worth the additional cost?
- Would it be more cost-effective to arrange my plans myself?
The Patrick-Murray Administration's Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is committed to protecting consumers through consumer advocacy and education, and also works to ensure that the businesses its agencies regulate treat all Massachusetts consumers fairly. Follow the Office at its blog, Consumer Connections, and on Twitter, @Mass_Consumer.