The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events each year. While most Americans watch the big game with family or friends, some devoted football fans attend in person. Super Bowl LVI will be held at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Feb. 13, 2022. If you’re planning to be there in person, here’s how to make the trip to Super Bowl LVI on a budget.
Flying to the Super Bowl
There are many airport options to choose from when traveling to Southern California. Unfortunately, some airports are further away from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. But, they can be worthwhile options depending on the routing, pricing and award availability.
The airports serving the Los Angeles area include:
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX): 4 miles away.
Long Beach Airport (LGB): 21 miles away.
Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR): 30 miles away.
John Wayne Airport (SNA): 42 miles away.
Ontario International Airport (ONT): 53 miles away.
LAX generally has the most flight options since it is the largest airport in the area. However, Bethany Walsh, a travel rewards expert at BougieMiles.com, says, “smaller airports can offer competitive pricing and routes, depending on where you’re traveling from. They also tend to have less congestion at the airport, which can reduce the stress of flying.”
Flying to LAX with points and miles
You can fly almost any domestic airline into LAX. Southwest Airlines, LUV, -0.24% United Airlines, UAL, -1.54% Delta Air Lines DAL, -2.12%, American Airlines AAL, -2.54% and Alaska Airlines ALK, -1.36% have a significant presence.
Southwest has nonstop flights to LAX from 28 cities as far east as Nashville. The price of flights varies by day and route. For example, you could book round-trip flights from Phoenix to Los Angeles for less than 8,000 points for Super Bowl weekend, leaving on Friday, Feb. 11, and returning on Monday, Feb. 14.
If Delta is your airline of choice, you might be better off turning Super Bowl weekend into Super Bowl week. In our search, the cheapest dates to fly from Atlanta to Los Angeles with SkyMiles were Wednesday, Feb. 9, to the following Wednesday, Feb. 16.
Meanwhile, round-trip from Boston to Los Angeles could probably run you at least 30,000 miles on United for travel from Friday to Monday.
Flying to Long Beach Airport with points and miles
Since Long Beach is the next closest regional airport, it’s another viable option. You can fly to LGB nonstop from 16 destinations on four airlines:
American Airlines: Two nonstop flights.
Delta Air Lines: One nonstop flight.
Hawaiian Airlines: Two nonstop flights.
Southwest Airlines: 14 nonstop flights.
Three of these nonstop destinations — Honolulu, Maui and Phoenix — are serviced by more than one airline.
Travelers have the most options on Southwest; its nonstop flights to LGB range from California cities like San Jose, Oakland, and Sacramento, to farther destinations east, like Chicago, St. Louis and Houston.
Southwest flight costs vary based on travel dates and your departure city. For example, you can find flights from Chicago-Midway to LGB on Thursday, Feb. 10, starting at only 3,458 points and a return flight on Tuesday, Feb. 15, beginning at 2,686 points. Travelers with flexible schedules can find the cheapest flights with the Southwest Low Fare Calendar.
American Airlines operates many hubs across the country and two of them offer flights that fly directly into Long Beach: Dallas-Fort Worth and Phoenix.
From Dallas-Fort Worth, you can fly to Long Beach for 14,000 AAdvantage miles round-trip. That’s 7,500 miles on Feb. 10 and 6,500 miles on Feb. 15 — and these prices are available on several dates.
Hotels on points for Super Bowl LVI
It can be challenging to book hotel rooms with points during Super Bowl weekend in many cities. However, because Los Angeles is such a large city with many hotels, you can find availability for almost any loyalty program. Even so, you may have to stay further away depending on the hotel brand.
Marriott hotels within 5 miles of the stadium
Marriott MAR, -2.77% lists 172 hotels when searching for Inglewood; however, the options considerably shrink if you want to stay close to the stadium. Marriott has 20 properties within 5 miles of the stadium. Unfortunately, only one has rooms available if you wish to use Marriott Bonvoy points to book your stay: The Four Points by Sheraton Los Angeles International Airport.
This hotel is only 2.1 miles from Inglewood and it is conveniently located near LAX.
Cost to book in points: This property is a Category 5 hotel with rooms at 40,000 points per night. When booking any Marriott hotel with points, you’ll receive the fifth night free — a 20% savings on points. So, for example, for a five-night stay from Thursday to Tuesday, you’d redeem the 5th-night-free benefit and pay 160,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
There are no additional charges, except for the daily $40 fee for parking. However, if paying in cash, you will shell out $484 per night, for a total of $2,423, including all taxes and fees.
Hilton hotels near So-Fi Stadium
Hilton’s HLT, -2.23% website returned 27 properties in the Los Angeles area for Inglewood searches, but only 13 are within 5 miles of the city. In addition, most of these hotels are sold out for the big game weekend. So, your options are limited if you want to book a Hilton hotel during Super Bowl weekend with points.
The Embassy Suites by Hilton Los Angeles International Airport South is your best option, only 3.5 miles away from Inglewood. Embassy Suites offers more space than most standard hotel rooms because every unit is a suite with a separate bedroom and sitting area. Plus, Embassy Suites is known for its complimentary evening happy hour and made-to-order hot breakfasts.
Cost to book in points: Hilton doesn’t have a set award chart, but rooms tend to cost between 38,000 and 50,000 points. If you have Hilton Honors Silver status or higher, you’ll receive the fifth night free on an award stay. A cash reservation would cost around $393 per night, or a total of about $1,965, for five nights from Feb. 10 to the 15th including taxes and fees.
Hyatt hotel close to the stadium
Hyatt H, -1.99% has six properties within 5 miles of Inglewood. Of these properties, four are sold out and only one allows rooms to be booked with points on Super Bowl weekend — The Hyatt House Los Angeles/LAX/Manhattan Beach.
This Hyatt House property offers a two-bedroom, two-bath trio suite ideal for families or friends traveling together. These large suites also have a living area and a fully-equipped kitchen if you want to make any meals during your stay.
Cost to book in points: Category 3 (rooms start at 12,000 points or $610 per night).
While rooms can be booked with points and cash ($519 + 6,000 points), it may not be the best choice because a standard cash reservation is $610 per night. That means you’re only getting 1.5 cents per point with the points and cash reservation.
Jon Nickel-D’Andrea, the first class cabin enthusiast behind NoMasCoach.com, advises against cash and points redemptions like this. Instead, he says, “you’re better off saving your Hyatt points for a higher-end redemption, as you would be receiving almost 25% less in value for your points by booking this room.”
The bottom line
It is possible to travel to the Super Bowl on points and miles because Southern California has many airport and hotel options. Major domestic airlines fly into LAX and several of the most popular also fly into Long Beach, a smaller airport close to the stadium. So your best option is to compare flights to airports serving the Los Angeles area and find the one that matches your schedule and offers the best deal.
Hotels in Inglewood close to SoFi Stadium may be tough to book with points, so expand your search to nearby cities. In addition, some credit cards have travel portals that allow you to book hotels with flexible points, which opens up even more options for your stay.
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Lee Huffman writes for NerdWallet. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.