Economic Impact of the Super Bowl Revisited

The World Cup is well underway, with the last matches of the group stages set to begin tomorrow.

As I was getting away from the football (soccer) overload, I was sent an article by a friend who knows how much I love to rant over economic impact analysis, about the economic impact of this year’s Super Bowl in Miami.  The Miami NBC website seemed to be rather excited by this report, in their own article, they discuss this as great benefit to the city, with visitors spending an average of $401 per night during the Super Bowl.  Looking at the results, it is estimated that the Super Bowl itself generated a $333 million dollar economic impact for the city of Miami.  What is not mentioned in the NBC Miami article is that the Super Bowl in Miami in 2007 was estimated at having a $436 million impact.  It seems that either the recession is still in effect, or that maybe the estimates made by the study have become slightly more conservative.

I know in this paper by Dr. Baade and Dr. Matheson, they find that the Super Bowl could possibly generate about a quarter of the economic impact that the NFL claims the game to have.  What I find most disturbing is that after a number of searches online, I could not find an actual copy of this year’s economic impact analysis of the Super Bowl, let alone who conducted the study and published the report.  It would seem that as the research has indicated all along, that these numbers are rather inflated, which makes this a very interesting case.

Because sure enough, on the same day that this report comes, the Miami Dolphins decide that they will need public money to make stadium renovations to their current stadium.  The same stadium that the NFL said would need to be renovated if Miami wants to host another Super Bowl.  Call me skeptical, but this doesn’t seem to be a coincidence.  This looks rather planned, and seems to be a ploy to get the citizens of Miami to get behind supporting a public funded stadium project which will hopefully continue to draw the Super Bowl to town.

Interesting side note of the day: the average income of a visitor to the most recent Super Bowl: $210,000.  This is inflated by the number of celebrities, but it really does seem to hint that the Super Bowl is really becoming a very expensive and exclusive VIP party.

Hat Tip to Shawn.


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