No Economic Benefit to Hosting Super Bowl, “If You’re Lucky, It’s Going to Wash”


Cities that build new football stadiums are rewarded by the NFL with a chance to host the Super Bowl. Minneapolis taxpayers contributed $498 million (nearly 50% of the cost) to the construction of U.S. Bank stadium, following the commission of an economic impact study (by the Minneapolis Super Bowl Host Committee) stating that Super LII would contribute $343 million to the city (includes $29 million in tax revenue); but, economists say there is no reason to believe they’ll be recouping anywhere close to that amount this weekend. Victor Matheson, a sports economist at Holy Cross, has found that Super Bowls generate $30-$130 million in economic activity for the host city; just “between a quarter and a tenth of what is being claimed”. Matheson added that once one accounts for the costs associated with putting on the game, “if you’re lucky, it is going to wash”.

Howie Long-Short: On average, cities contribute $250 million in taxpayer funding to construct new N.F.L. stadiums, so Vikings ownership got a sweetheart deal. The disconnect between the estimates and Matheson’s reality can be explained by looking at projections for hotel usage. The hotel committee projected 230,000 hotel night stays during Super Bowl week, but that’s a net figure; it doesn’t account for rooms that would have been booked anyway. Think that doesn’t make a difference? A recent study reflecting the impact the ’12 Super Bowl had on the city of Indianapolis showed just a net gain of 49,000 rooms (less than a quarter of their estimate). It must be noted that San Francisco (’16), Glendale (’08 and ’15) and New Jersey (’14) all lost money hosting the game.

Fan Marino: Build a new stadium and the Super Bowl will come. 7 stadiums have been built within the last 12 years and all but Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Dome (which gets the ’19 game) have hosted the NFL’s championship game. Los Angeles, which is building a new stadium in Englewood, will get the 2022 game. Miami, which completed a $425 million renovation on Hard Rock Stadium, will be the home of the 2020 Super Bowl.

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Author: John Wall Street

At the intersection of sports & finance.

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