The Logistics of the Super Bowl

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/18532666/18532620" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript

The Super Bowl doesn't just mean tickets, although it does mean that. It also means flights, hotel rooms, rental cars, and more. In short, it's a lot of planning in very little time, says Robert Tuchman, president of TSE Sports and Entertainment.

ALISON STEWART, host:

I'm so torn about who I should root for, the Super Bowl. I'm from New York, in this area, but I spend a good deal of my life in New England.

RICO GAGLIANO, host:

Yeah.

STEWART: I don't know what to do.

GAGLIANO: Well, I'm a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, so I don't really have anything to suggest to you.

STEWART: You don't care.

(Soundbite of laughter)

GAGLIANO: Yes.

STEWART: Okay. Fine.

GAGLIANO: Yup. Don't really care. Don't care about that problem that you seem to have.

STEWART: I see.

GAGLIANO: Yeah. Because - and basically, either way, I'm going to spend the game day numbing, with generous helpings of being dip, the pain of the Steelers' failed season. Not - well, not totally failed season. They're division champs, I believe. But, you know, what I'm saying.

Anyway, fans of the New England Patriots and New York Giants like yourself -I'm thinking, come on.

STEWART: I don't know.

GAGLIANO: Come on. Just…

STEWART: I don't know.

GAGLIANO: Okay. You're Giants, I'm telling you.

STEWART: Leave me alone.

(Soundbite of laughter)

GAGLIANO: Those - well, once you decide, I'm sure you will care. And you'll care a lot. In fact, since the teams secured their championships, tens of thousands of fans have made plans to head for Phoenix, site of this year's Super Bowl. Now, we have to think about this for a second. First, all of those people are going to need tickets. This is not an easy task. But they also need flights, they need hotel rooms, they need rental cars. It is a lot of planning in very little time.

So, here to shed some light on how it all goes down is Robert Tuchman. He's president of TSE Sports and Entertainment. They sell Super Bowl travel packages both large and small. He joins us live from Phoenix where he's getting ready for the big game himself.

Hi, Robert.

Mr. ROBERT TUCHMAN (President, TSE Sports and Entertainment): Hey, Rico. And hello, Alison.

STEWART: Hello, Robert.

GAGLIANO: Hello.

(Soundbite of laughter)

GAGLIANO: So, these couple of weeks before the Super Bowl your busiest time of the year.

Mr. TUCHMAN: Yeah. Absolutely. I think, you know, when you look at it and what we do, we send individuals and corporations to major sporting events. And obviously, the Super Bowl in this country is king, so this time of year is very, very busy for us.

GAGLIANO: Well, paint a picture for us. What kinds of things have you been dealing with for the last 10 days? Give us your like the worst disaster scenario.

Mr. TUCHMAN: Well, there's a lot to deal with, as you can imagine.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. TUCHMAN: I got into Phoenix a couple of days ago. And basically, we're sending over a thousand people. The fact that we are based in New York City…

GAGLIANO: Hmm.

Mr. TUCHMAN: …and Giants getting into the Super Bowl, has definitely added a lot of people calling my cell phone for sure, including my father-in-law who's a huge fan. So you know, we're, right now…

STEWART: Note to self, take that call.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. TUCHMAN: Yeah. And my wife would kill me if…

STEWART: Yeah.

Mr. TUCHMAN: …I've got to take him to the game even though I'm a Jets fan.

(Soundbite of laughter)

GAGLIANO: Oh, man.

Mr. TUCHMAN: Yeah.

GAGLIANO: We'll just pretend you didn't say that.

Mr. TUCHMAN: Yeah, exactly.

GAGLIANO: Of all the people who go to the game, what percentage of them don't decide they're going until they find out their team is in?

Mr. TUCHMAN: Well, a lot. And that's the difference between the two types of people that will be at the game. The Super Bowl's a very corporate event. So, basically, a lot of these people who are planning to go to the game have made their plans several months in advance. They're going regardless of who the team is. And I'd say that's about 65 percent.

GAGLIANO: So that means - so 35 percent are just sort of like, let's go.

Mr. TUCHMAN: Exactly. The 35 percent of the fans that okay, you know, when the Giants won and the Patriots won a week ago last Sunday, those were the people that the next day are saying, okay, I got to get myself out there. Now, how do I do that? I've got to get - first off, you know, both teams are traveling.

GAGLIANO: yes.

Mr. TUCHMAN: Or most of their fan base is traveling from the East Coast. So they've got to get flights, they've got to find hotels.

GAGLIANO: You know, of all of that stuff, what don't people understand about what they're about to undergo? Like, where do they sort of - how are they're going to prepare for it?

Mr. TUCHMAN: That's a great question because what a lot of fans don't understand is - the first thing is they start calling around. You know, your first bet is calling around for a hotel room. All of those hotels had been booked for three, four years in advance. What happens is the NFL comes into a city when they get a Super Bowl and they block out about 90 percent of the rooms. The other 10 percent, companies like ours or travel companies will go on and reserve those rooms on a non-refundable basis.

So the problem is a lot of those fans who want to get a room, first off, call then if they're able to even find a room. Basically, what they don't realize is that a lot of these hotels, well, they realize this is the Super Bowl so this is their opportunity to make money, so they have four-night minimums and they're charging you basically $700 for a (unintelligible).

GAGLIANO: $700?

Mr. TUCHMAN: Oh, yeah. I mean, if you look at pricing on Super Bowl and you call around right now, it's funny, I was, you know, told - a friend - just giving a friend some information on a hotel, a country suites was trying to charge something like $900 a night for the room.

Basically, what you find is that, you know, a lot of these hotels take advantage. But the one thing, this year that's a little different is a lot of people, I think, because of Wall Street, because of the economy, are not traveling or is not - they're coming, but they're not willing to shell out, you know, ridiculous amounts of money to do that because also, remember, they have to take a flight out there as well that's very expensive.

GAGLIANO: Sure. Let me ask you one final question. How do I get a ticket?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. TUCHMAN: Well, let's see. You guys are in New York, right? The NFL's based in New York. Do you have any friends that work over at the NFL?

(Soundbite of laughter)

GAGLIANO: No.

Mr. TUCHMAN: Oh, yeah.

GAGLIANO: And with that - oh, yeah.

STEWART: I have a…

Mr. TUCHMAN: Maybe you guys can get media credentials. No. Really, if you want to…

GAGLIANO: I'm sorry, man. But we're running out of time. I got to let you go.

Mr. TUCHMAN: (Unintelligible).

GAGLIANO: Thank you very much. Thanks, Robert Tuchman, president of TSE Sport and Entertainment. Enjoy the game.

Mr. TUCHMAN: I certainly will.

GAGLIANO: See you, man.

Mr. TUCHMAN: Hope you, guys do too.

STEWART: This is the BPP on NPR. Thanks for listening.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.