Is Hosting a Super Bowl Beneficial to a City?

By Katelyn Smith


On Nicollet Mall the Super Bowl stage is set. From families trying to capture every special moment, to college students congregating around live music, and friends coming together to celebrate their favorite sport, there is something for everyone at the Super Bowl Experience.   

Viking’s Stadium, Minneapolis

Viking’s Stadium, Minneapolis

Although hosting a Super Bowl can be exciting for the city’s residents, it serves more as a money pit, rather than a celebration.

Take the city of Glendale Arizona for example. Market Watch writer Jason Notte says that in 2015 Glendale lost between 579,000 and 1.25 million dollars hosting the Super Bowl. This is one of the many statistics cities should take into consideration before agreeing to host.

One of the reasons these cities are losing money may be due to the NFL’s requirements. StarTribune released the 153 page bid specifications given to prospective host cities. “The NFL requires that a natural grass field must be re-sodded for the Super Bowl at no cost to the NFL.” Not only does the host city need to provide new grass, but a plethora of other free benefits to the NFL, such as parking. “Parking for staff, contractors, and guests must be provided at no cost to the NFL during the entire period of access, including the event.” There are many amenities that a host city needs to provide at “no cost to the NFL”, so where does the city acquire the money to fund these conveniences?

Some of the funding may come from taxpayer money. This includes those beautiful stadiums that the game is hosted in, many of those are built with taxpayer money. U.S. Bank Stadium is one of these. Jamie Hellman from Al Jazeera America writes “The total cost is slated to be $1.1 billion, with state and local taxpayers shouldering $498 million of that.”

In 2016 the United States Census Bureau reported there to be 5,519,952 people living in Minnesota, approximately 4,233,804 of those being taxpayers. If taxpayers are paying $498 million, that averages out to about $118 per taxpayer, many of which will not even step foot in the stadium.

According to NBC Sports, the NFL was estimated to make $14 billion in 2017. That means they could have written checks to build fourteen stadiums just like U.S. Bank Stadium, and still broken even.

Hosting a Super Bowl can be fun and exciting, but it’s also a big economic investment that will most likely be lost.When deciding on hosting this major event, cities really need to weigh the pros and cons of its affect overall on the state. Is it more important to have economic stability, or host a fun widely loved event?