Super Bowl 2017: 5 things to know before heading to Houston 

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Super Bowl 2017: 5 things to know before heading to Houston 

Diehard Atlanta Falcons fans are prepping to do the Dirty Bird all the way to Houston next week.

The Falcons and the New England Patriots will face off at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 5 for Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium, only the second Super Bowl appearance for the Falcons and the 10th appearance for the Patriots.

That historical milestone will not be missed by thousands of fans. According to StubHub, a discount ticketing site, about 8 percent of sales for Super Bowl tickets came came from Georgia, and 3 percent from Massachusetts, as of Monday. 

Crowds cheer for the Atlanta Falcons at this Jan. 21 Atlantic Station rally. The Falcons will meet the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Before making the trek to root for your favorite team, here are a few things to note about Houston.

How much are tickets to the Super Bowl?

As of Thursday, tickets to the big game were listed for between $3,000 and $5,500 on StubHub’s website.

TickPick, another secondary-market ticket site, listed its cheapest ticket for the game available on Thursday as $3,169.

“Since the Falcons weren’t really an expected Super Bowl team, it’s tough to forecast the direction of prices,” TickPick CEO Brett Goldberg said earlier this week. “Atlanta is close to Houston and if the fan base travels in numbers, that very well can keep prices stable.”

What are airline tickets like to the Super Bowl?

Similar to tickets for the game - they’re not cheap. To cater to eager football fans, Southwest Airlines is adding flights from Atlanta and Boston into Houston on Friday, Feb. 3 and Monday, Feb. 6. The Dallas-based airline is adding two additional flights between Houston and Atlanta the day after the game.

Southwest, as of Thursday, was listing fares as low as around $445 for a round trip.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines listed air fares from Boston as low as $1,226 round trip and as low as $978 from Atlanta as of Jan. 26.

Is Houston an easy city to navigate?

Short answer: no. Houston is the fourth largest city in the country, so with the big city comes big traffic. Houston is also the epitome of urban sprawl, so traveling by car will not be an easy feat. A knowledgeable Uber or Lyft driver will likely be the best friend a Patriots or Falcons fan can have while in town.

This Jan. 14, 2017 photo shows a countdown sign leading up to Super Bowl LI in Discovery Green park in downtown Houston. Super Bowl LI will be played Feb. 5 at NRG Stadium in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

If ride-hailing apps are not your thing, free circulator shuttles will run downtown Super Bowl week. Called Greenlink, three routes will take guests from parking lots on the west side of downtown to the entrance to Super Bowl Live and in and around Discovery Green. 

Where can you enjoy Houston like a native?

Houston has an array of seafood and Mexican restaurants that locals love to frequent. But the go-to spot right near NRG is Mama’s Oven, a soul food restaurant that’s light on the grandeur but heavy of the taste. The hole-in-the-wall spot is known for its meatloaf, oxtails and pork chops.

After chowing down on an official Houston dinner, it’ll be time for dessert. Hank’s Ice Cream has you covered. The homemade ice cream parlor has been an institution in the city for more than 20 years. Beyonce, a Houston native, particularly likes the banana pudding flavor, according to Hank’s website.

If enjoying craft beer is your thing, Saint Arnold Brewing Company, dubbed “Texas’ oldest craft brewery,” would be a fitting night on the town. Customers can enjoy full-flavored beers, and, on Super Bowl Sunday, Saint Arnold will host its fourth annual Super Beef Sunday, which will include legendary barbecue from Louie Mueller BBQ, Pinkerton’s Barbecue and Harlem Road Texas BBQ.

Where can you celebrate the game?

The better question is: Where can’t you celebrate? The weekend will be full of activities, but here are some of the  top events to catch SuperBowl weekend:

A traveling nightclub

Club Nomadic , dubbed a “traveling nightclub experience,” will be open during the weekend of the Super Bowl. The 62,500-square foot, three-story nightclub holds 9,000 people with special areas for celebrities and VIPs. The venue, 2121 Edwards St., hosts the EA Sports Bowl with a performance by Sam Hunt and the Chainsmokers on Feb. 2, welcomes Bruno Mars on Feb. 3 and ends with a performance by Taylor Swift on Feb. 4. Tickets are pricey, but can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount holds the AFC championship trophy surrounded by fans after the AFC championship NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots defeated the the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-17 to advance to the Super Bowl.Ê(AP Photo/Matt Slocum) Matt Slocum/AP

Super Bowl opening night

Fans can get a peek at the teams in the Super Bowl on Jan. 30 at Super Bowl Opening Night downtown at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros. The event is the first time during Super Bowl week that players in the big game meet with media as fans watch from the bleachers. It features a performance by rock band X Ambassadors and an appearance by Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon.

Those attending the event will get gift bags with a radio that they can turn to NFL Network coverage to listen in on player interviews. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., interviews are from 7:15-8:15 p.m. and 9 p.m.-10 p.m. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased through Vividseats.com.

Super Bowl Live is a free fan festival that stretches from Discovery Green across from the George R. Brown Convention Center to Root Park near the Toyota Center, where the Houston Rockets play. The festival, which runs from Jan. 28-Feb. 5, will include artists, exhibits and games. An area called Houston Live will showcase the city and its history. Super Bowl Live will also include a virtual reality experience, Future Flight, created with help from NASA, which will take fans on a 90-foot-drop tower ride mimicking a spaceflight to Mars.

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The AP and Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writers Kelly Yamanouchi and Michael Kanell contributed to this report.

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