As mentioned earlier, tickets to the Super Bowl aren't made directly available to the public like any other game would be. You can't camp out at a ticket venue or spend your day refreshing your Web browser as you might for other high-demand tickets. Instead, you'll need to send a certified letter to the NFL between Feb. 1 and June 1 of the year preceding the Super Bowl you'd like to attend. This is the only means for the general public to purchase tickets at their face value. Only one entry for a given address is accepted before a random drawing is held [source: NFL].
You have more options if you're a season ticket holder. One or two weeks before the game, you'll get a chance to either enter your name in a lottery, or you'll be automatically entered to purchase tickets. If you're a season ticket holder for one of the teams playing in the Super Bowl, you'll have better odds because the available batch of tickets is larger. Each team is a little different, but your chance will be weighted by a few different factors: how long you've had season tickets, where your seats are located and how many season tickets you have. Being a season ticket holder gives you a leg-up on fans just sending in letters before the season even starts [source: Nichols]. Keep in mind that just because you were selected in a lottery doesn't mean you are obligated to buy the tickets, but it's a good idea. Even if you're unable to go, you'll almost certainly be able to re-sell the tickets for more than you paid for them.
If you're not one of the lucky few to get chosen in random drawings, lotteries or sweepstakes, you'll have to turn to secondhand sellers. We'll hand off some insights on how to play that game on the next page.