Trying to Come Up With The Super Compromise to The Super Bowl

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I wrote a couple weeks ago about my internal debate on really splurging on a “once in a lifetime” experience when the price is higher than I wished. While in retrospect some experiences may indeed be priceless, the price tag they come with can be breathtaking…and not in a good way.

 

Along those lines, my husband’s lifelong favorite team, the Kansas City Chiefs, are having a really good year, and making it to the Super Bowl is not outside the realm of possibility. In fact, it is even more likely now than two weeks ago when I wrote that post. Of course, it is still faaaaaaar from guaranteed (ugh, Patriots, Foxborough, January), but since the Super Bowl is here in Houston this year, I know that Josh will really, really want to go should his team make it. Truthfully, the Super Bowl could be held outdoors in Antarctica in the middle of winter and he would want to go if the Chiefs made it…even if the cheerleaders didn’t.

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But, ticket prices are truly, truly astronomically insane for the Super Bowl, especially if you want several seats so that your family can experience it together. Josh is a big boy, so he will ultimately make his own decision about whether or how to see the Super Bowl in person if the Chiefs make it, but that doesn’t mean I’m not trying to concoct a good compromise…

Based on the sporting events I have attended, there is nothing like seeing your team play at home during the playoffs. I’ve seen some pretty deep Astros playoff games in Houston, and that atmosphere was electric. Having been to some regular seasons games at Arrowhead in Kansas City, I can only imagine what the postseason would be like in that sea of deafening red.

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Price aside, a playoff game at Arrowhead with tens of thousands of hometown faithfuls and the smell of barbecue hanging in the air sounds more fun to me than a Super Bowl game in an unrelated city surrounded by lots of people who have no true affinity towards your team. Okay, the price differential of hundreds of dollars per ticket vs. thousands of dollars per ticket does bias me a bit, but still….home field advantage is a real thing.

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So, to set up options, and perhaps slightly encourage an affordable-ish family trip to a playoff game in Kansas City vs. a gazillion dollar Super Bowl visit, I just made some refundable award hotel reservations at the Sheraton Four Points that is within walking distance to Arrowhead Stadium. My husband’s family has stayed there before a few times and walked to various Chiefs and Royals games, so I know it is a very convenient spot that actually saves you money on parking, too. Hurray for points from the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card!

If the Chiefs don’t ultimately host those playoff games, or we don’t need the rooms for whatever reason, I can cancel the reservations until the day before without any penalty. However, if we do want to use the rooms then I have secured them for just 3,000 – 4,000 SPG points per night, when I can guarantee the rooms will sell for several hundred dollars per night in the event the home playoff games occur.

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Smiles for rooms on points!

This strategy is one that I highly recommend for others since you can make award reservations with many hotel chains on points as long as standard rooms are available. However, the bigger jump you have on others in making those reservations the better. We have nothing to lose by making these reservations right now before we even know if we need them, but we have hundreds and hundreds of dollars to lose if we don’t take the 60 seconds to book now and we decide we want to go later.

Do you currently have any speculative reservations pending in case you want to attend a major event?

 

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

Comments

  1. You know, that’s actually a damn good idea. I’m gonna book that Four Points right now for the Divisional round as that’s a price too good to pass up. Keep in mind that playoff games can be either a Saturday or a Sunday and you’re not going to know which day they will play until probably 10 days before. Last time the Broncos/Chiefs met in the playoffs I was only 16…and I’ve been looking for a good excuse to go to Arrowhead (obviously this year won’t work due to it being on Christmas). It might be fun to watch the Broncos win a road playoff game instead of the home ones 😉

  2. This is a great strategy and one I’ve used a number of times in recent years for “potential” sporting events. This is why I really value my Platinum Medallion status with Delta – I can proactively book flights and then cancel if the game doesn’t happen.

  3. We do it for college football bowl games. During the last few weeks of the season, the fan sites speculate two or three possible bowl selections for our teams. So I speculatively book hotels in 2 or 3 cities just in case (checking cancellation policies of course) and a few Southwest flights for the farthest away bowls. Then after the selection show on TV, it’s much easier to cancel what we don’t need, than to scramble for what is left. My husband even rerouted his way home from our family vacation in the Bahamas last year to attend a college playoff game, and it only cost us $100 extra for the one way flight back to the US. We just rerouted his Southwest flights home and booked him 2 nights on points near the stadium. So fun to cheer our teams to victory and discover a new city at the same time!

  4. I’m also going to speculatively book something for Houston. If Denver is stuck as a wild card, going to Houston would be ideal as that would be a cakewalk of a warm-up playoff game.

  5. With hotel reservations in place, it sounds like Josh is for sure going if his team makes it to the SB. Hey, he works hard and deserves some type of extravagance as a reward, right?

    • Well the Super Bowl would be in Houston, so no hotel needed just $XXXX worth of tickets. This is actually for a game in Kansas City. He does work hard, but he does just fine in the ‘extravagance’ category, too.

  6. Having been to a Super Bowl, as well as Final 4 Championships, MLB All Star Game, and BCS championship- the atmosphere is not the same as a NFL playoff game, or a NBA Finals or MLB world Series game. When the game is at a neutral site, the fans are all there for the game, but not all are rooting for a team

  7. The lady doth protest too much. I assume yoir husband is the primary breadwinner and has to slave away at the offfice while you peddle your credit cards for maybe a few hundred bucks. He shouldnt even have to ask.

    • Well, as I said in the post, he is a big boy and will make his own decision, but when thousands of dollars are being spent I don’t think of it as permission so much as something worth talking about as a family. I also wouldn’t make too many assumptions about how things do or do not work in this household (or any other). We both work hard, we both splurge on some things, and we are insanely fortunate to even have this be a topic of discussion whether it is a playoff game in another city or a Super Bowl 30 miles from home.

    • @Joshs brother — “I assume your husband is the primary breadwinner…” Wow, dude. Sexist, much? We’re in 2016. Assumptions like that don’t have a place in discourse anymore. We’re not in the 1950s, or have you been living under a rock…? nuff said.

    • +1 to YoLaViajera.
      @Joshes brother… What world are you living in? Married adults share in their decisions, financial and otherwise.

    • SERIOUSLY! How much of their bills have you ever paid! And yet you still read and utilize her “credit card peddling” that she works so hard at to make stupid comments. I bet you’re keeping the secret of how much you’ve saved from this site so far.

  8. Nice strategy. One thing that has worked for me on hotel reservations like this is booking with my company corporate code. It has better cancellation benefits on paid stays. For example a lot of hotels I stay at just during the year will say you have to cancel by the day or two before to avoid being charged but when booked with my corporate rate code the price is about the same but it will allow me last minute cancellation by 6pm the same day.
    Being a Chiefs fan and living near KC I’m not booking the hotel so I don’t jinx them of course. As long as the Chiefs can keep it up into the playoffs and they don’t have to face Patton Manning on some foggy playoff field in January they might have a shot 🙂
    Oh and if you’re staying near the stadium make sure to head a few blocks North on Blue Ridge Cutoff to 40 highway and eat at the famous Dixon’s Chili as KC has other food besides BBQ of course.

    • Hugh, aw thanks. I just try to make as many things work as I can. Some don’t. Some do. Hopefully we can find the optimal way to enjoy the NFL postseason this year.

  9. My wife and I are considering going to the Kentucky Derby next year and I was able to get the Hyatt Regency Lousville for Derby weekend on points – a standard room was $1500 but I snagged for 12,000 Hyatt points. 🙂

  10. Slightly off topic….earlier this week, when “Hamilton” tickets went on sale in San Francisco, I could have bought 6 but foolishly only bought the 2 we needed. Later I realized we could have funded several playoff games with the Stubhub profits :-).

    GO RAIDERS!! (1969….Raiders won both regular season games; Chiefs won in playoffs. 2016….payback time….yes, I have a long memory.)

    • UAPhil, OMG re Hamilton! Enjoy the show though! Re: the Raiders….No! I can’t handle the grumpiness in my house that will come fromlosing to an AFC West team.

      • Summer…I knew a fellow whose dad would throw the TV out the window when the Raiders lost….hope Josh is not that extreme….

        I found the general tone of the discussion (attending playoff games is a “happening” for your team; attending the Super Bowl is not) most interesting and enlightening.

        • No TVs have been harmed in the enjoyment of football games at our house. Though I do remember screams from all the dads in the neighborhood when the Oilers lost to the Bills when I was a kid. OMG. I may still be scared from that. Thanks for reading and sharing your Raiders stories!

  11. As a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan and season ticket holder for the last 16 years and sportsblog writer as a hobby (www.philasportsblog.com), my bucket list is to hit every NFL road stadium. I try to hit at least two a year and since I already know the cities I want to visit, I book the hotels either at a refundable cash rate or on points the day the schedule comes out in April.

    Next season, my Eagles coincidentally play your husband’s Chiefs in Kansas City so looking forward to making my first trip to Arrowhead!

    Love your blog Summer…keep up the great work!

  12. Hello. So glad that you wrote this. Since you’re in the Houston area, can you please let me know which SPG hotel (or the top 5 of any hotel pls) is nearest the NRG Stadium. I’m a Disabled Vet and I’ve been trying to search this out for a couple of months now.
    I’m currently Gold and doing the SPG Plat Challenge. I’m also Hilton Gold.

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