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Yesterday the NFL announced that the 2014 Super Bowl will be played in the new Giants/Jets stadium in the Meadowlands. Aside from the obvious interest in the weather, the game also provides an interesting question of what is the optimal size of a governing jurisdiction for public finance purposes.
The game, with its attendant traffic congestion and demand for public services will be held in New Jersey, but the vast majority of the economic impact (limited as it may be) will accrue to NYC. Hoteliers are one of the clearly identifiable winners in any mega-event, and how many high rollers willing to spend $1,000 on a Super Bowl ticket are going to stay in Newark?
While the NFL’s claim of $550 million in economic benefits from the Super Bowl is almost certainly overblown, the data do suggest that a figure of $30-$90 million in gains may be reasonable. So, should NYC share some of their windfall with the state that actually made this event possible?
UPDATE: Apparently East Rutherford, NJ Mayor James Cassella agrees with me.
The mayor of East Rutherford isn’t feeling so super. Sure the New Jersey burg is technically home to Super XLVIII in 2014, but all the glory, hoopla — and frankly, much of the moolah — will go across the river, Mayor Cassella lamented yesterday.
Local hot spots such as Tao’s restaurant, the Blarney Station and the Park Tavern “will do more business than “a typical February weekend,” he said. But in general the Super Bowl will mostly generate traffic, he said. “If the weather gets bad, then they will ask me to get involved — and we’ll be paying overtime to clean up the snow and never see anything for it,” Cassella said.