Super Bowls could be the new path to public stadium financing

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The NFL’s good fortune regarding the weather at Super Bowl XLVIII could help the league’s owners make a fortune.  (OK, even more of a fortune.)

Apart from the increased pressure on future Super Bowl bids that comes from having cold-weather cities with open-air stadiums in the mix, the possible procurement of a Super Bowl could become the new carrot for stadium construction.

Every 20 years or so, current NFL stadiums need to be upgraded or replaced.  In past years, the public money has come fairly easily, especially with the ever-present threat of a move to L.A. (and now London).  With cities suddenly less relucntant to cough up the cash, the looming effort to build the next generation of stadiums could be aided by the promise of a Super Bowl.

It’s previously worked elsewhere, with the unspoken quid pro quo helping towns like Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Detroit, and Jacksonville offset the influx of public money by bringing a major economic impact (supposedly) to the region.  Now, with every cold-weather city having an open-air stadium in play for a Super Bowl — and with politicians and owners publicly stumping for the game — the time eventually will come when hosting the Super Bowl gets tied to taxpayer money that will make the local venue better suited to host the premier American sporting event, either by building a new venue or significantly upgrading an existing one.

With only one Super Bowl per year and the next four already set (Arizona, San Francisco, Houston, and Minneapolis, Indianapolis, or New Orleans), the cold-weather, open-air approach becomes a long-term aspect of Super Bowl planning.  It’ll likely happen every seven-to-10 years, providing the ultimate strategy for eventually replacing the current stadium with a swanky new building that has the best kind of bells and whistles:  Those that someone else is paying for.

57 responses to “Super Bowls could be the new path to public stadium financing

  1. Sad to see the league’s championship game held hostage to owners feeding at the taxpayer trough. I hope cities resist this move.

  2. Apparently San Diego didn’t get the memo – – although I’m not sure if it’s the owners or the taxpayers who don’t want the stadium.

  3. Could be?
    Look at every super bowl since 2004?
    Jacksonville, Houston, Arizona, Detroit, New York, Dallas, Indianapolis,.
    And then they are planning another in Houston and Arizona. ST. Clara and rumor is Minnesota has 2018.

    The NFL bribes cities to give public funding with the promise of a super bowl.

  4. Sounds fair. Upgrade your stadium thru renovation or were not allowing an Sb there. some stadiums are much bigger and nicer then others. Chicago, Washington, Oakland, are not the nicest of facilities. Just old

  5. I don’t care how they do it as long as the millionaire owners don’t have to pay. There’s no point in having socialism for the rich if they can’t loot the poor and the middle class.

  6. Goodell, that evil genius. Besides the game being a blowout a lot of positives for him 1) weather wasn’t a prolem 2) defense still alive. all the talk about the rule changes and seattle nearly shuts out the best offense “ever” 3) northern cities will upgrade stadiums to make SB bids.

  7. Super Bowls barely break even, blow 1.1 billion on a new stadium for an event that barely covers itself. Smart idea! Now you know why the country is where it’s at financially.

  8. I think every team/stadium should host the SuperBowl. I really get tired of seeing it held in New Orleans or covered venues for that matter year after year. The prospect if bad weather just makes the event that much more interesting…”on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field…” Some of the most memorable games have been played in terrible weather which just makes it all the more interesting.

  9. I kinda feel like Ford Field needed to be replaced after one day. It sucks and I can’t wait for them to build an awesome football place to play. Probably going to be a long wait, oh well.

  10. This is nothing new. Did you forget that the Dolphins used this same carrot regarding the money for upgrades to Sun-Life. This was just about a year ago when they were picking the finalists.

  11. Fitting to have this as the Olympics open as the Olympics show what a colossal waste of public dollars it is to build stadiums and infrastructure for a 1 use event.
    Hosting the Olympics is what started Greece on its road to financial collapse.
    There is a good story on bloomberg on reasons to give the Olympics a permanet home.
    Apply any and all of them on scale to the amount of public dollars a state would be spending on a stadium and Superbowl.

    Here is a quote from that story:” Overspending on the Olympics can do real economic harm to national economies and has little impact on the quality of the competition. Montreal spent 30 years paying off its debt from hosting the 1976 Summer Olympics. Greece spent $16 billion on the 2004 games in Athens, piling up debts that contributed to the collapse of its economy six years later, even as Olympic venues rotted in disuse. “

  12. The Super Bowl doesn’t provide a large enough economic boon to any community to justify the tens of millions for renovations, or hundreds of millions for a new building. The NFL is starting to get called out on the fallacy of the idea that an NFL team (or a Super Bowl, for that matter) provides an economic boon that justifies the public funding the NFL has been receiving.

    And Los Angeles is purely sucker bait to squeeze money out of municipalities with the threat of relocation. LA never supported the NFL before and the NFL knows it.

  13. Promise of a Superbowl that may come around every 10 years. Meanwhile, the stadium goes into disrepair and needs another $100 million before the NFL will host a SB.

    Looks like a win/win for the NFL either way.

  14. So now that NYC / NJ super bowl just barely missed being in freezing snowing conditions, that means the next several northern super bowls (if they happen) will be great weather too. Did not realize that. And I guess none of the NFL owners have any concern about bad weather in early february in the north any more. But if there was snow storm and sub freezing temps at super bowl this year, which almost happened, I guess NFL would never have considered a northern super bowl again. Ok, I understand now.

  15. Cities and taxpayers would be fools to give one single cent of public money to multibillionaires of billion dollar teams in a league worth tens of billions of dollars. Tax breaks on land? Sure, it’s done all the time. No other corporations get their lavish palaces built with taxpayer money. Then Goodell will throw a tantrum when people can’t afford to go to the game, so he’ll actively prevent people from watching the game on TV in the stadium they paid for.

    Screw the NFL.

  16. MetLife stadium is in East Rutherford NJ and the borough wasn’t even allowed to advertise any parties using the “Super Bowl” name. If the NFL wants taxpayer money in the future from the local taxpayers, they should tell them to go ask NY

  17. As a Redskins fan they game should def be played in Washington every once in a while. However, FedEx field is just awful. If The Danny were to build a new stadium on the site of RFK I think it would make sense. Bring the Skins back into the District and 20+ years of bad luck will change. Do it Danny.

  18. I don’t see why the people of a city get excited about the game being played in their town. The view from the couch is the same no matter if it is played 5 miles away or 500 miles away. How many locals actually go to the game?
    Season ticket holders of the local team, sure. Since often (but not always) they at least are part of a lottery for a handful of tickets.
    Otherwise it should be purely a cash flow issue. Does the event bring cash to the city that could improve my tax burden and/or leave behind tangible benefits in the form of better bridges, sidewalks or roadways etc?
    So even if true that a city barely breaks even, you still need to look at what was left behind.

    As for cities paying for all or part of the stadium? NYC and NY State lost all the tax revenue generated when the Giants, Jets, Nets and every concert, monster truck show, or other event that was played at the Meadowlands instead of NY’s side of the river. The city/state make money on the stadium/arena, just as the owner does.
    The municipalities don’t fight to keep (or fight to get) the teams just so the locals can go to a game 8 times a year. They want them for financial reasons.

  19. NFL must think these locales are dumb sheep like the everyday fan. Stadium costs over 1B. In 10 years, that number will be doubled. NEUTRAL studies show that SBs only net local economies, at most, 100M. Sounds like dumb business to promise the NFL a 1B stadium in exchange for $100M (at most) in possible revenue.

    East Rutherford and the surrounding area made around 20M.

    SB = fools gold.

  20. Mike – what goes into a “bid” for a SB? Does the hosting team have to pay anything to the NFL, if so, how much?

  21. In other words: Now that MetLife Stadium has had its Super Bowl, don’t expect the NFL’s title game to return again until this stadium is torn down and replaced with a new one.

  22. Yea,yea, yea Pittsburgh needs a new stadium, let’s make it hold 80 k plus, sounds good to me!


  23. The Super Bowl genius’s missed a disaster by a mere 10 hours..Wait until people pay 1 0r 2 thousand per ticket and have to sit in snow or freezing cold…..

  24. With the NFL holding a ridiculous federal tax exemption on its $10 Billion in revenue, we are already publicly financing stadiums.

  25. Why not make LA the permanent home for the SB until a team can move there? Build the new stadium, state of the art, funded by all 32 teams collectively, and when the team moves there, they have to pay back the 31 other owners in 3-4 years, and once they have established the team, then the SB goes back on the road, so no team has an unfair perk.

    Sounds like that solves the weather problem, the public funding problem, and the LA stadium problem all in one. Plus you get to have your SB every year in the second largest market in the US.

  26. Forget about the NFL, public financing, and all the related nonsense for a second.

    Who spends around a billion on ANYTHING they want to depreciate or replace in 20 years. 20 years? Really? We hear the word billion so often it loses its meaning. A billion is a lot. I mean, that’s enough money to send at LEAST three kids to college, maybe four.

  27. What’s new? San Diego, the premier Super Bowl City, has lived under that reality for years.

    For Oakland to host, you’d have to renovate the entire city.

  28. The New England Patriots built their $373 million dollar stadium in 2002 with no public funding. Why can’t others?

  29. Why doesn’t the NFL set aside 1 billion a year and create a stadium fund? If the owners and municipalities would be willing to give up the control of the stadium to the league…then in theory every team would get a new stadium every 32 years.

    After a 32 year cycle the NFL would own every stadium and reap the profits of all the concerts, college games, etc., that are played at the facility…not to mention the good will they’d build in each community for the creation of the construction jobs for 3-4 years.

    Seems like a win-win to me therefore, will never happen!

  30. I hope every city is resistant to financing new stadiums. The owners are in the 1% of wealth, the fans should not have to pay for their toys.

  31. Its not a new path to funding. Its the same thing except the NFL now dangles a superbowl just like olympic committees do that waste billions, in most cases, all around the world.

    The same people are still going to pay for the stadium, the nfl is just tossing in a little more sugar for the local folk to get their votes.

  32. Oh btw I’m in a rant mode. That bone they always throw, “It will bring XXX million dollars for the local economy!” I’m a nurse in San Diego. None of that money ever made it to my pocket.

    The last Super Bowl here, they stiffed a couple of hundred volunteers after promising them a big party sometime after the game. Even had a date for it. First they postponed it, then they … never addressed it again.

    Okay I’m done.

  33. “The New England Patriots built their $373 million dollar stadium in 2002 with no public funding. Why can’t others?”

    He payed for it because his planned move to Hartford fell through, and the state of Connecticut taxpayers were going to foot a lot of the bill.

    So dont make it sound like it was out of charity. He had no choice with such little time . Foxborough was the last choice.

  34. Nuts to the public paying for new stadiums, through taxes,bonds, etc.
    Let the fat cats fork over the bucks or if they can’t afford it, TOUGH LUCK.

  35. How about rewarding the city and fans of the team with the best record. This crap about a neatral sites is BAD. If it ends up being cold oh well suck it up or stay home.

  36. bobleblah says:
    Feb 7, 2014 10:43 AM
    There is an old saying on Wall Street…
    Bulls make money
    Bears make money
    Pigs get slaughtered

    Here in Chicago it is…

    Bulls make money
    Bears make money
    Cubs get slaughtered

  37. cornersss. My point is that they were still able to build a beautiful stadium without help. So it can be done if you want it bad enough and are willing to cough up the dough. What is your point??

  38. Still don’t see how with modern construction materials we can only get 20 years out of a building. What a bunch of crap.

  39. Why not build a “NFL-financed” stadium in Hawaii? The NFL would assume all profits, costs, and all the logistics involved.

    It’s a nice location, plenty of dough and amenities, and it currently doesn’t have a NFL franchise so, you wouldn’t be favoring one team or fan base over another.

    With the 2 wk break, players and their families could have a really nice time, too. The pro-bowl but with an incentive to win!

  40. The NFL needs to make sure owners not only have the funds to buy the franchise but also enough funds to build the stadium for the franchise every 20 years.
    The cities/county/state support to the team should not come from tax dollars those funds are for the people, not welfare for the wealthy.

    If the NFL wants to move the team, knock yourself out the view from my sofa won’t change.

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