- The ultra-wealthy are descending upon Miami for Super Bowl LIV.
- Packages including chartered private flights, luxury hotel stays, access to exclusive parties and four VIP tickets to the game sell for more than $100,000.
- Super Bowl host committees are increasingly considering their experiences in the planning process, offering amenities like a personal concierge service and a private phone line to local hospitals, The Wall Street Journal reported.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Nearly 100 million people watch the Super Bowl on live television every year, but their experience of the big game has little in common with that of the growing number of ultra-wealthy people who spend tens of thousands of dollars to watch in person from the sidelines.
The Super Bowl has become one of the one-percenters’ favorite events, on par with the Master’s Tournament and the Kentucky Derby, the president of private aviation consultant Anthony Tivnan of Magellan Jets told Business Insider. While the game’s VIPs range from high powered executives there to entertain clients, billionaires supporting their favorite teams, or socialites just attending for a good time, their big spending and high tastes are changing the game for everyone.
Regular tickets for the NFL’s most-watched game don’t come cheap – prices start at $4,000 – and luxury experiences come at even more eye-popping prices. A package deal for round-trip private charter flights to Miami, accommodations at the five-star Fontainebleau South Beach hotel, a chauffeur, and club-level tickets to the game that allow access to the field after the final buzzer sells for a minimum of $105,000 for four people, according to Tivnan. One of Magellan’s packages even includes admission to exclusive parties where Post Malone and The Chainsmokers are slated to perform. The company already had between 30 and 40 flights books as of Tuesday and expect to continue receiving more bookings until close to kickoff.
Wealthy football fans know dropping six figures on game day can seem a bit frivolous, Miami-based short term rental consultant Jennifer Restrepo told Business Insider
Restrepo’s company, Five Star Luxury Travel, secures short term rentals for the owners of high-end condos at top resorts. “Even the wealthiest person on Earth likes to save money,” Restrepo said, adding that Five Star rents condos on properties such as the 1 Hotel South Beach for at least 30% off list price.
Still, a three-bedroom condo will set guests back up to $9,000 a night during Super Bowl weekend, according to Restrepo - a steep markup from the $2,000 to $4,000 nightly rate throughout the rest of the month. That price includes luxury airport transfers, spa services, access to a concierge and a private butler, of course. Restrepo waited until just a few weeks before the game to list her properties, hoping to boost her chances of landing higher-priced last-minute bookings, and said she had already filled six of her properties on January 24.
For Restrepo's clients, the biggest draw isn't always the game itself. Miami was bursting with upscale events and parties in the weeks leading up to the big game, many of them featuring big performers including Lizzo, Lil Wayne, and DJ Khaled. Goldman Sachs CEO David Soloman is also slated to DJ a charity party at the Fontainebleau, alongside Marshmello and the Black Eyed Peas, Fox Business reported. Tickets to the most exclusive parties can only be purchased from high powered brokers like Restrepo, she said.
Restrepo, who spoke to Business Insider while en route to show a property to a potential client that she described only as "a major celebrity," said her company had already rented six to seven condos at these elevated prices, and planned to lease more.
Big spenders have an outsized impact on where and how the game is played
It's not just travel providers like Tivnan and Restrepo who alter their modus operandi to accommodate VIPs. Super Bowl host committees are increasingly considering their experiences in the planning process, The Wall Street Journal reported in 2017. The host committee provided a "white-glove concierge" service to escort the most important guests and offered an exclusive telephone line to local hospitals in case of emergency to VIP attendees at that year's game in Houston, The Journal reported. Neither of those perks were offered when Houston held the game in 2004, The Journal noted.
"If you don't think about that as a host committee and a city trying to compete in America today with every other city, then you're missing the boat," Houston real-estate executive Ric Campo, the chairman of the Super Bowl LI host committee, told The Journal.
Representatives of the Super Bowl LIV host committee did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment on how VIP attendees factored into the planning process for this year's game, if at all.
Building the infrastructure to support the Super Bowl and the luxury experiences ultra-wealthy football fans have come to expect comes at a big cost to local taxpayers, potentially without a lot of profit in return. The game is expected to cost taxpayers in three Miami-area municipalities $20 million dollars in security costs, municipal fee waivers, and public space improvements, according to The Miami Herald.
Though they are sharing in the cost, not all of these towns will share in the economic benefit and tourism boost that comes along with hosting the game, Miami Gardens Chamber of Commerce president Andre Williams told The Herald.
"The type of people the game attracts - these are high-moneyed folks," Williams told The Herald, "and they're more likely to spend their money in Broward or Miami Beach, where they're hosting most of the high-profile events."