Sunday's mild weather clearly was a boon for Super Bowl XLVIII ticket-holders. Suddenly, the concerns about keeping themselves warm while sitting around MetLife Stadium for hours in potentially frigid temperatures went for naught.
But a stroll around the stadium during the hours leading up to the big game Sunday showed that the league was prepared to help fans stay warm in the anticipated cold weather -- and perhaps capitalize financially in the process.
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When fans arrived at their seats, they were greeted by a goodie bag (the league called them "warm welcome kits") that included earmuffs, hand warmers, Chapstick, a warming sleeve for your hands, and gloves that have the nifty capability of allowing you to use your smartphone.
But in case ticket-holders wanted more warming items and didn't come prepared, they could have bought, say, a Super Bowl blanket for $45, a wool hat for $35 or a scarf for $30. Or they could have bought hot chocolate in a souvenir Super Bowl cup for -- wait for it -- $20.
The signs at all the vendors offering hot chocolate also offered a cup for $11. But all of those visited by Newsday said they either did not have those cups yet or were not permitted to sell them until the second half or after they had sold out of the souvenir cups.
When asked about that strategy, an NFL spokesman said both sizes of hot chocolate were being sold around the stadium at all times, just not at every vendor.
Hey, big spenders
Considering the average ticket price on the secondary market was more than $2,000, many fans attending have deep pockets. The NFL catered to this crowd with several pop-up memorabilia shops throughout the stadium.
Some of the items for sale:
A case containing a football with the Seattle Seahawks logo signed by every member of this year's team, as well as one for the Broncos goes for $4,500. Or fans could have purchased just one of the signed footballs for $2,450. Helmets of the two teams signed by every player were offered at $5,500.
A mini replica of the shiny silver Vince Lombardi trophy (which is given to the winning team) signed by 41 Super Bowl MVPs was offered at $3,500. Another mini replica signed by John Elway and Peyton Manning was going for $1,000.
Those same 41 Super Bowl MVPs -- including brothers Peyton and Eli Manning, Santonio Holmes, Joe Namath and Phil Simms -- signed a helmet, as well. The sticker price for this item was $2,950.
Private party room
One of the most interesting Super Bowl parties in the area was slated to take place about six miles away from MetLife Stadium, inside an airline hangar at Teterboro Airport.
With somewhere between 65 and 70 private jets estimated to park at Meridian -- one of the five fix-based operators at the general aviation airport -- the company scheduled a party for the pilots and crew members who were there waiting for their customers to return from the game.
Kirk Stephen, marketing manager at Meridian, said they had a projector TV setup to air the game for the crowd of about 250 crew members. With flights expected to take off well into the wee hours of the morning once the FAA lifted its no-flight restriction, Meridian planned to have a coffee station, a massage center and energy drinks on hand.
"These people are just sitting around," Stephen said, "so we wanted to make it fun for them."
Taking bite out of wallet
A selection of food and drink prices at Super Bowl XLVIII:
Bacon on a stick: $6
Two cookies: $7
Loaded french fries: $10
Bottled beer / glass of wine: $12
Brisket sandwich: $13
Grilled chicken sandwich basket: $16
Souvenir soup or noodle bowl: $20
Pile of wings: $20
Steak sandwich: $22