A Super Bowl trip ain't cheap.

What does a Super Bowl trip really cost?

Think you’re rich enough to cheer on the Denver Broncos or Seattle Seahawks from Metlife Stadium this weekend?

Tickets to the game are the cheapest they’ve been since 2002, according to SeatGeek.com and Seattle Post Intelligencer. The reason?  Super Bowl XLVIII is in New Jersey (instead of Miami or New Orleans) and the weather is horrible.

But you might spend those savings on a bed — New York hotel room rates for this weekend are up to 326 percent higher than usual, according to TravelMag.

Suppose you did have thousands of dollars to spend on the NFL’s big game. What’s the cheapest way to get to the Super Bowl? Here’s our math — and advice…

1. Shop around, then carpool to the game. Or take public transportation.

The Ticketmaster NFL Ticket Exchange is the official vendor of Super Bowl tickets, with more than 3,000 tickets still for sale as of Wednesday — starting at $1,750 each. But TiqIQ offers end zone seats  from $1,499.

The most expensive suite in the stadium is up for grabs at $686,000. You can see what the stadium suites look like here and decide whether you’d rather buy a house or two instead.

Parking passes will cost you between $240 and $278. And while that might be the most expensive parking spot you’ve ever paid for (short of a traffic ticket), it still doesn’t give you the right to tailgate.

If you’re willing to rely on public transit, buy a $50 SuperPass, “valid for unlimited travel from Monday, Jan. 27 through Monday, Feb. 3, on all NJ TRANSIT rail, bus, light rail and Access Link services throughout New Jersey, including travel to and from Newark Liberty International Airport and New York City.”

2. Flight comparisons are worth the time

Shop around on flights, too. You can use sites like Kayak, Hipmunk, CheapTickets, Travelocity, PriceLine, Expedia, and Hotwire for comparisons.

The variables matter. For instance, you might think: Newark Liberty International Airport is closer to the stadium, but could flying into LaGuardia save me money? We checked.  Roundtrip from Friday, Jan. 31, to Monday, Feb. 3, Hipmunk found LaGuardia is more expensive, at least from the teams’ hometowns…

  • Denver to Newark: $522 on United
  • Denver to NYC: $540 on American
  • Seattle to Newark: $619 on U.S. Airways
  • Seattle to NYC: $807 on United

What about buying two one-way tickets instead of a round trip? Using the same travel dates as above, Denver became a bit cheaper that way. But Seattle sure didn’t…

  • Denver to Newark: $246 out on American Airlines, $245 back on U.S. Airways. Total: $491.
  • Seattle to Newark: $487 out on United, $453 back on American. Total: $940.

3. Stay away from New York hotels. Check for vacancies in East Rutherford.

On Jan. 20, TravelMag.com used Kayak data to compile a list of room rates from Feb. 1 to Feb. 3 at New York hotels, with comparisons to regular rates at the same hotels. These are the worst examples of Super Bowl price-hiking…

Name of Hotel Room Type Regular Super Bowl Increase
Hyatt Place Midtown South King Room $164 $699 +326%
Comfort Inn Central Park West Double Room $109 $448 +311%
New York Marriott Downtown Deluxe Double $239 $914 +282%
Howard Johnson Soho King Room $119 $424 +256%
70 Park Avenue Hotel Double Room $188 $649 +245%
Candlewood Suites Times Square Queen Room $123 $399 +224%
Courtyard New York Herald Square Standard $169 $549 +224%
Wyndham Garden Chinatown Premium Room $156 $494 +216%
Hyatt 48 Lex Queen $219 $699 +219%
Night Hotel Standard Double $198 $629 +217%

In East Rutherford, we found rooms for $80 per night at hotels that have 3 or more stars on Kayak.

The final score

The grand total for a pair of diehard Broncos fans from Denver? If they take the cheapest seats and flights, split a hotel room, and ride the bus: about $4,300. And that’s before taxes and food. Seattleite lovers of the Seahawks will spend about $250 more than that on airfare.

So is the Super Bowl XLVIII weekend experience really worth more than the cost of a new Apple Mac Pro? Well, we’re going to punt on that one. But only 14 percent of Seattle Post Intelligencer readers said they were willing to spend more than $2,000 on a trip to this year’s game — even though the team has only made it that far once before.

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