The Super Bowl you can drive to

By WEEK Producer

February 1, 2012 Updated Feb 2, 2012 at 12:32 PM CDT

The Super Bowl has never been played closer to Central Illinois. And unless St. Louis or Chicago would get a future Super Bowl it will never get closer to Peoria and Bloomington-Normal than this.

Our drive to the Super Bowl begins at the gas pump: $49 gets us to Indy and back.

It is a 198 miles to Indianapolis, we've got a full tank of gas, a half a pack of gum, and it's almost dark but we're wearing sunglasses. Hit it!

A must stop on any I-74 trip to Indiana is the Beef House in Convington. Since 1964 it has been a staple for meat lovers and college basketball teams.

Gary Brewer, a waiter at The Beef House, said "We've had Illinois, Purdue, IUPUI out here. I've waited on Lou Henson a year and a half ago. He's been out here off and on. Thad Matta who grew up in Hoopestone, he's been out here too. We get a little bit of everyone."

Josh ordered the rib eye while I had the 9 ounce filet. Both were slam dunk, buzzer-beaters. Our bill was $61 plus tip. (We budgeted $100 a day for food.)

A hotel stay a half-hour from downtown Indianapolis going for about $250 a night.

Of course, it's only Wednesday so expect those prices to skyrocket by game time on Sunday. If you want a ticket we hear they're going for as much as $16,000 and the guys on the street won't take the boss's American Express. We checked.