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The Big Ticket

Larry Olmsted
From the Print Edition:
Cigar Aficionado's 20th Anniversary, September/October 2012

The Super Bowl is the mother of all U.S. sporting events, by far the most watched and most hyped, and attending it in person is a true “bucket list” experience. Since only 500 seats are offered to the general public (for over 30,000 applicants) unless you are affiliated with the NFL or a major sponsor, there are basically two ways you can go the Super Bowl: the right way or the wrong way.

The wrong way is to buy a ticket on the secondary market, online or in person, then show up and hope for the best. Even if your ticket is real, all it gets you is a seat in a stadium that has much more to offer in a city that is usually sold out.

That’s where QuintEvents, the Official Hospitality Provider for NFL on Location, comes in. QuintEvents is a sports travel packager extraordinaire, and as the NFL’s right-hand man, gets its tickets directly from the source, with guaranteed authenticity. But it sells experiences, not just tickets, so each QuintEvents package includes express security entrances at the stadium, preferred on-site parking or private shuttles from its hotel partners and extensive use of one or more in-stadium hospitality venues, typically for two to three hours before and after the game.

I toured the one at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for the 2012 edition and it was no mere suite, but an enormous ballroom, holding 3,000 guests, done up in a “Winter Wonderland” theme with snow falling from the ceiling, an ice-skating rink with professional figure skaters in the center, full open bar and roaming servers, and food stations all over, from sushi to meat carvers. One entire wall was an enormous mural of plasma screens, and former NFL players were on hand to sign autographs. This facility turned the game into a daylong party. The company also blocks hotel rooms as add-ons to ticket packages, along with lots of optional activities throughout Super Bowl weekend, including high-profile parties. Transportation, dining reservations and other trip accessories are also customizable.

The Super Bowl is QuintEvents’ highest profile event, but it got its start with the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, where it offers hospitality suites, exclusive use of the Secretariat Lounge overlooking the home stretch, seating in Millionaire’s Row, the Turf Club, Trophy Room, Derby Room, Clubhouse and Grandstand, as well special line-avoiding entrances.

Other events that QuintEvents will help with include the Pro Bowl, MLB’s All-Star Game and World Series, U.S. Open tennis and The Masters. The 2013 Super Bowl ticket packages for New Orleans are expected to start around $2,800 and the four-day Churchill Downs packages with accommodations and tickets to both the Kentucky Oaks and Derby start at $1,800 per person.

Visit quintevents.com or call 866-834-8663.

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