Super Bowl Last-Minute Tickets from $10,000?

Fans brave their way toward last-minute Super Bowl tickets.

February 4, 2012, 2:05 PM

Feb. 4, 2012 — -- Dante Cassiani of Boston is earning his stripes as a "diehard" New England Patriots fan by driving 950 miles to Indianapolis with eight friends in the hope of getting tickets to watch his home team play the Super Bowl Sunday.

"It was a toss-up. We wanted to be home to enjoy the game there but decided to go down there," he said.

Cassiani, 28, a full-time student and part-time restaurant worker, and his girlfriend, Michelle Gaudet, 27, have attended 10 Patriots games in the recent season, including two playoff games and one away game against the Washington Redskins.

The highest price paid for a single ticket for the Super Bowl, as of Friday, was $16,480 for a lower-level seat near the 40-yard line on the Giants' side, according to the NFL Ticket Exchange by Ticketmaster.

The average ticket price for this year's Super Bowl, as of Friday afternoon, was $3,420.08, according to TiqIQ, a ticket aggregator. The most expensive ticket available on TiqIQ's website goes for $10,589, and there is a hotel suite available for $445,000

The group is leaving in a 40-foot rented RV Friday night and expects the trip to last 17 hours, as reported in the Boston Herald.

"It sleeps comfortably six or seven, because it has a open spaced living room, not tons of bedding," Cassiani told "We'll be comfortable driving down, but sleeping's going to be pretty tight."

Cassiani and his friends knows it's a long-shot to get tickets in their price range to join the 67,000 fans who will fill Lucas Oil Stadium. But they plan to watch the game at a bar or on a TV in the RV but will also "passively" look for tickets for less than $1,500 apiece.

If the Patriots win the Super Bowl for the fourth time, avenging their loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII in 2008, Cassiani said, "It will be mayhem and once in a lifetime."

The average price for the games has dropped 15 percent in the past six days, and 6.6 percent from Thursday to Friday. If the pattern from previous Super Bowls abides, ticket prices may decrease further, said Chris Matcovich, TiqIQ's director of data and communications.

"We tend to see drops like this in the Super Bowl, though they're usually sooner than this," he said.

Matcovich said out-of-town fans -- from Boston or New York -- would have to tackle skyrocketing auxiliary costs, such as for hotels and airline tickets, in which case ticket-sellers could adjust prices lower to meet a possible dip in demand.

The cheapest flights to Indianapolis from New York this weekend were about $313 each way this weekend, as of Friday.

Joellen Ferrer, spokeswoman for StubHub, said tickets were 10 percent cheaper than they were last year. Immediately after the conference championships two weeks ago, the low end of ticket prices was $2,700, but the market has settled down since then.

"Indianapolis is not the easiet place to travel to," she said. "People were excited, but some ultimately figured they couldn't go."

Tickets selling on StubHub end at kick-off, so Ferrer said ticket prices tend to go down toward the start of the game.

"But the Super Bowl is a bit of an outlier," she said.

For fans like Cassiani or others who have not yet bought tickets, StubHub will have representatives outside the stadium to assist fans, plus a pre-game party for all ticket holders who purchased from StubHub.

Ferrer couldn't disclose how many Super Bowl tickets StubHub had sold, but she said of the several thousand, 35 percent of tickets were purchased from the New York-New Jersey area while 17 percent came from the New England states.

Ferrer said there may be a combination of factors, but "some people have said there is a 'been there, done that' mentality from the Boston area."

Not so for Cassiani and his friends. Not only did they pay $1,350 for the RV rental, they shelled out another $250 to change an economy class plane ticket for Cassiani's girlfriend to catch a flight. They will drive another one and a half hours on the return trip to drop her off to catch her flight in Cincinnati.

Cassiani said he usually spends about $150 a ticket for each Patriots game, not including tailgating and parking, which can add another hundred or so dollars.

But it has all been "definitely worth it," he said.

"We'd rather do that than go out to spend $500 at a restaurant. We make the tradeoff the right way," he said. "We want to spend the money where we want, at a Pats game."

If the unspeakable happens and the Patriots lose the Super Bowl for the fourth time, Cassiani said the 19-hour drive back will feel like a three-day "quiet ride home.

"I don't plan on going down there to see them lose," he said.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events