Here's some good news for high-rollers looking to charter a jet for Super Bowl weekend: Prices are dropping.
It seems there's a glut of jets on the charter market because corporations and individuals are selling or renting their planes to save money, said Aoife Millar, a spokeswoman for jets.com, a charter jet broker.
Also, as common folks are feeling an economic pinch, jet owners feel it's bad form to use them much. Millar specifically mentioned the public-image beating auto execs took when they flew private planes to Washington, D.C., to ask for a federal bailout.
"That has caused a lot of companies to sell off their flight divisions. And those that haven't have put their jets on the charter market," Millar said.
Meanwhile, demand for private charters is down because of the bad economy.
So how cheap are the charters?
Last year, the average price for a Super Bowl weekend was $70,000. This year, Cardinals fans can fly from Phoenix to Tampa in a premium plane for $55,000.
Some planes rented through jets.com come with the opportunity to buy Super Bowl tickets as well as tickets to major parties.
Inmates get involved
Plants cultivated by inmates in a vocational program at the Falkenburg Road jail are headed for an NFL-sanctioned West Tampa beautification project.
"This is an opportunity for them to be part of something special and meaningful in the community, even if from afar," Allen Boatman, who runs the jail's horticulture program, said in a press release. "Some of them are from that neighborhood, so the connection is very personal for them."
On Friday, volunteers will install the plants — including miniature agave, Chinese elms, rose bushes and coleus — throughout the neighborhood.
The plantings are part of a community revitalization project headed by the nonprofit Rebuilding Together, which will repair about 20 homes in West Tampa.
Place your bets
Even the animals at the Mote Aquarium in Sarasota are getting involved in the Super Bowl. At 11 a.m. Tuesday, loggerhead sea turtles Shelley and Montego and manatees Hugh and Buffett will race toward targets designated for the Cardinals and Steelers.
Picking targets isn't unusual for these animals — it's what they traditionally do during animal enrichment training and some scientific studies.