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Tickets anything but cheap

PITTSBURGH — Whether you're pulling for the Green & Gold or Black & Gold, you'll need something if you plan to see Super Bowl XLV in person.

Lots of gold.

With the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers squaring off in the NFL's marquee event — franchises with huge national followings — tickets will not only be scarce but might make you wonder whether they're diamond-encrusted.

As of Monday afternoon, there were 1,907 Super Bowl tickets available on StubHub.com, with prices ranging from $2,501 for a seat in the upper corner above the end zone at Cowboys Stadium to $22,223 for a lower-level seat on the 50-yard line. Those are the asking prices, however, and there's no guarantee they will command that much.

The face value of tickets is $600 and $800 for seats in the upper bowl, $900 for seats in the lower bowl and $1,200 for club seats. Sales on the secondary market is where prices skyrocket.

The NFL distributes 17.5 percent of the tickets to each the Steelers and Packers; 5 percent to the Cowboys, the host team; 1.2 percent to each of the remaining 29 teams; and 25.2 percent to the league.

According to StubHub, people began buying Super Bowl tickets on the site as early as last summer, at an average price of $3,678.

Prior to the weekend's conference championship games, a Ring of Honor suite — a 15-ticket package with catered food and drinks — sold to a buyer in Texas for $73,163.

"We saw more inventory at this time last year than right now," said StubHub spokeswoman Joellen Ferrer, referring to the Super Bowl between New Orleans and Indianapolis in South Florida. "So prices are still skewed on the higher end right now. That's the largest factor."

Getting tickets to the game is only part of the challenge. Finding hotel rooms in North Texas isn't easy, either.

Sports Traveler is offering a package for $4,195 per person (based on quad or triple occupancy) for an Embassy Suites room 26 miles from the stadium, a rental car, a pregame party, and seats in the upper bowl above the end zone. The site — SportsTraveler.net — offers upgrades on the hotel and seats.

Anbritt Stengele, Sports Traveler president, said she expects sales to be closer to steady than spectacular.

"I don't think it's going to knock it out of the park like when the Saints were in the Super Bowl," she said.

She said things were a bit subdued at her office Monday for a reason that had nothing to do with the pace of ticket sales.

"We're based in Chicago," she said. "We have lots of broken hearts here today."