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Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - Page updated at 12:12 AM

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Pricey Super Bowl trips selling fast

Seattle Times travel staff

Seeing the Motown showdown will cost thousands per person, but Seahawks fans are snapping up Super Bowl travel packages for the game in Detroit.

"We've been slammed on the phones and the Web site since Sunday night," said Ian Chalmers, president of PrimeSport, the official travel supplier for the Seahawks.

PrimeSport has Detroit-area hotel space blocked out for 1,000 Seahawks fans ( and 1,000 Steelers fans, who aren't yet buying nearly as fast as Seattle's fans), said Chalmers. He estimated 60 percent of its sales would come today; some packages — which include flights, hotel and a game ticket — already are sold out.

Fans who have a Super Bowl ticket , or who just want to get close to the action in Detroit, can book their own trip or work through other travel companies. Whatever you arrange, be prepared for super-size prices for everything from rental cars to hotels and airline tickets. Many prices have doubled; some quadrupled.

Game tickets/packages

If you're one of the lucky season-ticket holders who won the Seahawks lottery for Super Bowl tickets, you'll pay $1,240 for two tickets. That's cheap compared to the secondary market, where you can expect to pay thousands per ticket.

For non-winners, PrimeSport packages include airfare, hotel, transfers and the big prize — a ticket to the Super Bowl. For a three-night trip, prices start at $4,519 per person (based on four people sharing a room). www.seahawksfantravel.primesport.com or 800-591-9198. Packages also can be bought through Seattle-area travel agents.

Prime Sport also has a same-day Super Bowl trip. Leave early in the morning, see the game, take an overnight flight back to Seattle. It's a pricey day trip, starting at $3,849 per person. But the 150-seat plane is filling up fast, said Chalmers, and a second plane could be added.

Plan your own trip

If you want to put together your own trip, you can book a hotel and get Detroit visitor information through the Detroit Host Committee for Super Bowl XL, www.sbxl.org or 866-783-SB40, which has an NFL-sanctioned reservation service.

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Here's a rundown on how to comparison-shop and what to expect to pay :

Air fares

As planes fill up, especially non-stop flights, some fares have doubled. Non-stop, round-trip flights on Northwest Airlines (on Feb. 2 and 6) between Seattle and Detroit were more than $800 this afternoon, almost double the fare available Friday. You'll find cheaper fares on flights with one or two plane changes, on US Airways or Southwest. And to save on airfare, consider taking an overnight flight. Check fares through a travel agency or airline Web sites such as Orbitz (www.orbitz.com).

Hotels: Rooms in central Detroit have been booked up by the NFL, media and corporations for the Super Bowl "weekend," Feb. 2-6. Most available rooms are 40 to 70 miles from downtown Detroit, where the game will be played on Feb. 5. Try phoning downtown hotels directly and checking online sites such as Expedia, (www.expedia.com), Travelocity (www.travelocity.com) or Hotels.com (www.hotels.com) since there may have been some cancellations by fans whose teams lost playoff games Sunday.

If you can find a room in downtown Detroit, rates start at about $400 a night in budget motels (where rooms normally go for $100 or less). Monday afternoon, a room was still available at the Fairfield Inn in suburban Warren, about 15 miles from downtown — for $500 a night (it reverts to $119 a night after the Super Bowl). Even economy hotels in communities a 45-minute or hour's drive away ( such as Ann Arbor and Flint, Mich., or Toledo, Ohio) are charging almost $200 a night and up.

Rental cars: Rates have soared for the Super Bowl. You'll probably have to pay about $100 a day between Feb. 2-6 for a compact car from major companies such as Avis or Hertz. The week after the game, rates drop back to around $25 a day or less. A useful way to comparison-shop for rental cars is through online travel search engines such as Sidestep (www.sidestep.com)and Kayak ( www.kayak.com). Also check out discount renters such as Enterprise, 800-261-7331 or www.enterprise.com

Kristin Jackson: 206-464-2271 or kjackson@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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