The NFL claims cities that host the Super Bowl see between $300 to $500 million of influx to their economy. The most talked-about report so far has been the $450 million reported by Minnesota during the 2018 Super Bowl, but economist Victor Matheson is skeptical of these numbers and has crunched them down to just $30 to $130 million. A fraction of the actual claim.
Matheson - "If someone claims, 'Look, this event is three, four, five hundred million dollars,' what an economist would say is: 'Prove it.'"
There are huge costs when hosting an event like the Super Bowl, starting with the new Stadium made specifically for just one game and all the logistics involved. Here are just some estimates of the most important costs:
New stadium - $250 million
Tax break for the NFL - $8 million
Free public transportation - $5.6 million
When the NFL selects a city to host the event they require some quite expensive demands. The list includes: parking spaces, hotel rooms, transportation, billboards, security, food, access to golf courses and bowling alleys, along with an exemption on paying city, state, and local tax.
One of the main criticisms Matheson has to make on the real impact in the city economy is how the extra revenue is distributed. Sure, hotels and restaurants more than double their sales and increase prices during the week, but who is actually keeping all the revenue? Shareholders and corporations reap the benefits while paying the salaries to their employees. Some additional temporary jobs are created, but that only shares a fraction of profits.
In 2008 Glendale, Arizona was the Super Bowl host. The city actually reported $1 million in losses. In fact, San Francisco actually lost $4.8 million in 2016 when that city was host.
There might be added benefits to branding a city at a national level and even internationally. An indirect effect on tourism. Still, the stakes are high and the benefits not that great.
Nevada has so far been the most legally mature market that takes the most Super Bowl bets. In past years around $158 million have been wagered in this event, with Super Bowl prop bets being one of the most popular markets according to SBS. With new states now accepting legal bets that number is estimated at $325 million in the United States.
Nonetheless, it is said that most Americans actually make their bets through office pools, illegal bookies and offshore markets. That accounts to 97% of all wagers, 4.76 billion.
In total we are talking about $6 billion in Super Bowl bets.
Most people get their tickets through the secondary market. The NFL has a complex system used for major events where you need to apply for a ticket months ahead of time and participate in a raffle to even be eligible for a Super Bowl ticket at normal price. Most people get their tickets from the secondary market at prices between $3,690 and $16,000. Higher if they buy it from black market re-sellers, the average price is around $4,600.
30 second ads are sold by Fox at $5.6 million. This time around President Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg are both buying 60 second ads.