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Big Prices At The Big Game

As with most big games, ticket prices start at sky-high and extend to somewhere over the moon. But Super Bowl tickets are especially hard to come by and as CBS News Correspondent Russ Mitchell explains, that's no accident.

140 million Americans will watch the Super Bowl this Sunday, but only 72,000 can fit inside the stadium. You do the math.

Kevin Wolf and Bill Davis are truck drivers who've just arrived from Baltimore. They want to go to the game very, very badly.

"I just got a loan out to pay off some credit card bills. And then priority takes over. Now I gotta get Super Bowl tickets instead of paying these bills off," explains Kevin.

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More than ever, true blue collar fans like Kevin and Bill are being squeezed out of the action as Super Bowl tickets go to the well connected and the NFL's corporate clients.

In fact, the NFL keeps more than 18,000 tickets, mostly for staff members and guests. The host team gets around 6,000. Another 23,000 are allotted to the teams not playing, which leaves less than 26,000 seats this year for season ticket-holders of the Giants and Ravens.

The league offers no apologies.

"How many movie fans get to go to the Oscars? How many people who play golf get to go to the Masters? It's just the way it is. It's the toughest ticket in sports, no question," says NFL Spokesman Greg Aiello.

Very tough, With some seats going for more than $5,000.

Shannon Maxwell is a scalper. "I don't necessarily think I'm the one jacking up the price, I think it's the corporate sponsors, I think it's the NFL that jacks up the prices cause they don't sell the tickets to the regular fan."

Maxwell is a middleman, supplying tickets to brokers and corporate travel agents. Like other scalpers, he gets his tickets any way he can, including from the players themselves, a direct violation of league policy. But we put the question to Giant's linebacker Pete Monty, who gave all his tickets to his family.

When asked how widespread the selling of tickets y players for more than face value, Monty said, "I think it's pretty widespread. It's a great, like I say, it's an easy way for guys to make money. It's a great way to hide money from the IRS."

With everyone out to make a buck, Kevin and Bill might find it easier to get into Fort Knox than the front gate of Raymond James Stadium.

When asked what he's going to be doing Sunday if he doesn't have tickets, Bill said, "We're gonna be standing in front of this gate trying to get in - until game time."

Some 40,000 have come to Tampa this week without a ticket to the Super Bowl. While many say they're willing to pay up to $1,500 for a seat, right now the going rate is more than $2,000, six times the face value of the ticket.

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