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Want to buy Super Bowl LIV tickets? Be prepared to spend a lot

Mark Brown/Getty Images

In February, thousands will flock to Miami, where Super Bowl LIV takes place at Hard Rock Stadium. This will be the 11th Super Bowl to be held in Miami, and the first since 2010. Did we mention the average temperature in February is 75 degrees?

But as the AFC and NFC Championship Games approach this weekend, fans wanting to get their hands on a Super Bowl ticket ahead of when the two games go final should be ready to shell out more than $3,000 -- per ticket.

The cheapest ticket price for the Feb. 2 game as of 5 p.m. ET Friday was $3,730 without fees, according to TicketIQ, a ticket-market tracking firm. According to TicketIQ, Super Bowl LIV tickets are averaging $6,831 on the secondary resale market, which, if the price holds, will be the second-most expensive game of the decade. (The Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles in Minneapolis to cap the 2017 season is No. 1. Tickets on the resale market for that game averaged $7,277.)

Feeling as though you have a lot of money in the bank? The most expensive way to get into Super Bowl LIV, per TicketIQ, is for a fee of $339,876. You and 17 other people can have fun in a (pretty sweet) suite on the mezzanine level, with the NFL food and drink package and access to the VIP club and lounge sections. Unfortunately, this price doesn't even include any added fees.

As of 5 p.m. ET Friday, the cheapest ticket available on reseller Vivid Seats' site was for $3,812 -- and that was in the upper-level 300 section of the stadium. The ticket also doesn't come singular, which means you have to buy two to lock it in at that price. A solo ticket costs $4,527. Vivid's average price for a ticket is $9,486, with the most expensive ticket again being an 18-person suite at $485,750 -- with access to the aforementioned perks.

According to a Vivid Seats spokesperson, the average cost of one Super Bowl LIV ticket sold so far on its website is $4,917. By comparison, the average ticket cost for Sunday's NFC Championship Game is $582, and $405 for the AFC Championship Game. ((Vivid Seats is the official ticket partner of ESPN.)

The spokesperson told ESPN that as of Tuesday, "the demand for this year's Super Bowl is still among the highest since 2012."

StubHub's prices as of Friday are even more expensive -- the cheapest is $6,550 to sit in the top 300 sections -- but at least that includes fees.

To sit in The 72 Club (seats on the 50-yard line), you will pay $29,762 per ticket. According to StubHub, that includes postgame field access and an all-inclusive pregame party during which fans can meet NFL legends, athletes and celebrities -- and enjoy free food and beverages.

Why are tickets so expensive? It's a little bit complicated, but the simple version is that only a few tickets are released at a time -- and in general, they are very hard to buy directly.

The NFL keeps about 25% of all tickets and sells them to its partners, sponsors and media members. Then the league distributes tickets to each of the two teams in the Super Bowl. The host team also receives a percentage -- albeit small -- and then the remaining 29 teams receive an even smaller percentage of tickets.

What teams do with their tickets is up to them: distribute them to season-ticket holders -- who usually get first dibs -- or partners, or allow people to buy them through a lottery.

Only a small number are sold on the NFL's Ticket Exchange; those are packages known as NFL On Location, and 10% of those are under $1,000. The NFL also gives away a small handful of tickets for free.

Unfortunately, the best way for the average person to make it to Super Bowl Sunday is to buy a ticket on the secondary -- or even tertiary -- market. And so you're at the mercy of those resellers.