I've gone the last two years with friends from college. We've always stayed in Cocoa Beach and probably will again this year. If you stay on the beach you can count on a 30-45 minute drive to the stadium depending on traffic. We stayed at the Best Western last year and the La Quinta Inn the year before that. They're exactly what you'd expect...a room with beds but not much else. I can't say whether that area is considered safe or not, but we've never had any issues.