(Photo: Courtesy: Magellan Jets)
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Minneapolis has many charms, but with Super Bowl week temperatures as low as minus-7 degrees, some visitors are in no mood to stick around to discover them.
The biggest boom market for the big game revolves around ways to help wealthy fans get in and out of town as soon as possible after the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles do battle Sunday.
Flying in style via private jet is the easiest way to ensure a swift exit, and local airfields are bracing for a spike in traffic. It is anticipated that there will be more private jet travel for this year’s game than any other Super Bowl, with more than 1,500 planes expected over the next few days, according to local aviation officials.
“I love the Super Bowl,” said California investor Mark Walford, a regular Super Bowl attendee. “I don’t love minus temperatures.”
Walford is due to arrive Sunday morning and hopes to be back in the skies shortly after the game. Likewise, celebrities such as Patriots fan Mark Wahlberg are looking to get in, watch the game, then get out, and private jet carriers are getting creative to get ahead of the competition.
Magellan Jets, based in Boston, is trying to tap into the emotion of the Super Bowl’s atmosphere from the moment their customers step on the plane.
Magellan’s president, Anthony Tivnan, said one of his firm’s offerings is a “tailgate in the sky,” complete with interior decoration decked out in team colors.
“For most people it is not very often that your team is going to go to the Super Bowl,” Tivnan said. “It could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for some fans and we want it to feel that way. In some cases we are flying in family and friends of the players, so we want to create that special feeling and emotion tied to that trip.”
A Magellan trip from Boston to Minneapolis and back to Boston ranges from $45,000 to $60,000 for six people, depending on the size of the plane. The company also partners with events firms to offer complete packages, starting at $16,000 per person, that include premium seating and hospitality at the Super Bowl plus luxury ground transportation. Some visitors will barely have to set foot outside.
“A lot of people are looking to get in late, and get out early,” Tivnan added.
As a result, local airfields are operating at full capacity. Most commercial flights come into Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, while three smaller airfields will handle much of the private planes.
“Saturday is when we will see a bump,” Kurt Mara, an FAA traffic management officer, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “But Sunday is when there’s the mass arrival.”