Football’s big day is coming up, with the Los Angeles Rams set to play the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl 2022 on Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
This year's game is slightly unusual in that the Super Bowl is being played in one team’s home stadium, which means there has not been the usual meteoric price spikes for nearby hotels and Airbnb rentals.
Nonetheless, average daily rates for hotels in the Los Angeles area have already hit $445 a night — and travel experts say that if you haven’t booked your Super Bowl lodging yet, be prepared to shell out some big dough and agree to a minimum length of stay.
“It’s the Super Bowl, so inflation is expected,” said Melissa Dohmen, senior brand manager at Expedia Group, who notes that hotels in neighborhoods such as Beverly Hills and Santa Monica are currently charging up to $1,500 per night. Rates in South Los Angeles and Long Beach are trending lower, at about $150 to $300 per night.
For those looking to rent, Airbnb said earlier this month that Los Angeles-area searches by Ohio-based guests surged by more than 2,000 percent the day after the Bengals won the AFC championship, securing their spot at the Super Bowl.
Airbnb rentals in Inglewood over Super Bowl weekend currently average $931 per night, and Vrbo reported a spike in rates to an average of $620 a night.
Football fans who haven’t yet found accommodation in the area should not give up, travel experts say.
“It’s definitely worth checking back closer to the game in case cancellations happen,” said Gaby Flores, director of sales and marketing at Hilton Santa Monica. “Some hotels will receive cancellations close to the game, and most rates will drop down for last-minute arrivals, if they are not in a sold-out situation, to try and pick up those last-minute bookers.”
Fans hoping to fly in at the last minute can also still get deals, experts say. With the game just a few days away, there are still flights available, says Scott Keyes, founder of the travel site Scott’s Cheap Flights. “But it’s getting more difficult to get them cheap,” he told NBC News.
The rival teams' airports have a good-natured wager in which the CEO of the losing team’s airport will have to wear the winning team’s jersey for a day.
He recommends searching for flights to nearby, smaller airports such as Long Beach, Burbank or Ontario, instead of to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), in order to get a more competitive fare. Airlines including United, American and Delta have also added extra flights to help Cincinnati residents make their way to Los Angeles.
For those flying to the big game, the parties will start at the airports, with pop-up souvenir stands and fan activities in the terminals.
To send Bengals fans off, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) has a giant “Who Dey” balloon sculpture and signage, and will be handing out CVG bag tags and CVG-Bengals rally towels.
LAX has hard-to-miss Super Bowl signage and a good-natured wager with CVG in which the CEO of the losing team’s airport will have to wear the winning team’s quarterback jersey for a day.
For the past year or so, LAX and regional airports have been working with the National Football League, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration to ensure the safety and security of travelers heading to and from the game, especially during the busy post-game “getaway” Feb. 14.
Travelers will likely spot some of the more than 30 TSA explosives detection canines and their handlers working at the airport and other Super Bowl venues in the Los Angeles area.
The TSA’s key message to Super Bowl travelers is to arrive at the airport early and arrive prepared, said Lorie Dankers, a spokesperson for the agency. That includes packing game souvenirs or anything else with significant monetary or sentimental value in carry-on luggage.
For fans who have left it until the last minute to secure a ticket, a seat at Super Bowl LVI will currently set you back anywhere between $4,400 and $22,000, according to sites such as StubHub, Ticketmaster, and Gametime.
Of course, it’s also possible to head to the Los Angeles area without a ticket to the big game and still have fun. Fan events and watch parties will be taking place all over the region: Tickets to the Super Bowl Experience, an interactive football theme park at the Los Angeles Convention Center are $40, but free for fans who get their first, second or booster shots of the Covid-19 vaccine at the center during the event.