NFL asks for the moon, gets it from Super Bowl bidders


We’ve known that the NFL can get just about anything it asks for from Super Bowl bidders — including the buildings to play them in.

But a report by the Minneapolis Star Tribune details the level of freebies the NFL requires to award a Super Bowl.

Among the items detailed in the 153-page report include police escorts for team owners in town for the event, 35,000 parking spaces, suites in the high-end hotels downtown and billboards. That the adjective free goes in front of each of those items goes without saying at this point.

The NFL didn’t comment on the report, and a source with the host committee would only tell the paper that most of the items on the wish list were agreed to.

And it’s not just the week of the game in which the NFL is standing there with its hand out.

Among the requests were free (there’s that word again) access to three “top quality golf courses during the summer and fall before the game.

The host committee said it secured $30 million in private pledges to help offseason public costs (i.e. taxpayer dollars), but the committee refused to give details of its fundraising.

“This is wrong,” former Gov. Arne Carlson said. “This is a huge public event. It should be transparent. We should know how the NFL operates.”

Current officials would also be upset, if they knew exactly what to be upset about.

A spokeswoman for mayor Betsy Hodges’ office said they didn’t know what the committee agreed to provide.

“We haven’t seen the bid, so we don’t know what was agreed to,” said Kate Brickman, Hodges’ spokeswoman.

Now they can take a look, and realize exactly what they’re paying for.

And with so many cities lined up to throw money at the NFL for the right to host the game — as well as building the stadiums to play them in — expect the NFL to ask for more and more until someone tells them no.

100 responses to “NFL asks for the moon, gets it from Super Bowl bidders

  1. …and a pony, and a fire engine, and a puppy, and a bowl of M&M’s with all the brown ones picked out, and…

  2. Who’s gonna tell them NO when several others will say YES.

    It’s not like the city of Minneapolis won’t make a TON of money off this.

    Easy to make the NFL look bad, but talk about the other side. Local businesses, vendors, services, anything you can think of will make money from this event.

  3. Firstly, I am fed up with so many stating that the Saints SHOULD have been given this game due to the city’s celebrating 300 years etc etc.

    If that year is so important, then why did they bid for the 2013 Super Bowl? It seems they simply expected the 2018 Super Bowl to be gifted to them!

    As for Minnesota agreeing to the NFL demands for them to host the 2018 Super Bowl, well no matter how much it cost in freebies etc, Minnesota will gain more back from advertising raised from the event, plus bringing the world’s attention to the area. The world has become a much smaller place since 1992, and putting on a great showcase event will bring international interest, let alone domestic.

    I really think that Minnesota deserve credit for going out there and winning this bid!

  4. 35,000 parking spaces, suites in the high-end hotels downtown and billboards.

    good. that leaves green bay forever out of the running. doe that town even have 35,000 feet of roads?

  5. The NFL will only get what ego driven politicians are willing to give them. Unfortunately, too many people in powerful positions are all too willing to give the NFL everything it wants for the chance to host the event.

  6. Know what else is “free”? Not putting in a bid. These cities know what they are getting into when they bid.

  7. Access to three top quality golf courses for summer and fall months? Really? And who exactly will be playing on these golf courses?

  8. And Gov. Cuomo gets to tout how he brought a Super Bowl to New York in November that led to this years state budget surplus and funded free Pre-K statewide.

  9. So they bid $200 million and $1,000,000 worth of free billboards.
    Or they can bid $201 million and the NFL can acquire the billboards themselves.

    I would expect (and hope) the city/state includes the costs of the police escorts, billboards, golf rounds and everything else when they determine the dollar amount of their bid.

    Having the items included in the bid just ensures that not only does the host site have these items, but also ensures they will be available to the NFL.
    It’s basically advance booking.
    Even the golf courses. The months leading up to the game NFL execs will (and better) be checking on progress (especially after Dallas’ missing seats). Is it really evil to lock down tee-times in advance of the visits?

  10. The only way it stops if it cities stop bidding which they won’t do because the Super Bowl brings so so so much money & attention with it.

  11. They want a team on the moon and all the planets I heard. Except Pluto cause they aren’t really sure it’s a planet. Not to mention the logistic nightmare.

  12. I get the complaints, and I’m not particularly happy about it either. But I would like to know what kind of revenue this game generates on the local level before getting too angry. There is a ton of sales taxes to be made from increased spending, and in turn more spending from the local businesses that profit when they then spend at other local businesses. I’m not a fan of handouts, but if the “Super Bowl machine” brings in a sizable profit, then the city benefits more than the owners.

    But, I’m not privy to these details. So, freebies look bad.

  13. I dont know if you guys know or care that as we speak that FIFA the body that run soccer is currently in the midst of a huge mess regarding alleged bribes, under handed dealings etc over world cup bids. Now not for one second am i comparing FIFA with the NFL but we have to understand that the game is the players and fans game not the people who we trust to organize and run the game. They think they call the shots and most of the time they do and it would take mother of all rebellions to make our feelings known if we truly have had enough rulers of our games but we will always the true power if we felt it was getting out of hand. The NFL is a million miles away from the corrupt goings on at FIFA but hopefully we will see the fall of one of the worlds biggest self regulating bunch of pocket lining swindlers the modern world has ever seen.

  14. The nfl is becoming the IOC and FIFA. I pray one city steps up and says no to lord Goodell and his minions. Good for LA for having the foresight to stand up to these gangster corrupt economic destroyers that leave cities in their wake after the circus leaves town!

  15. If they had it in Green Bay, I don’t think it would be cool for the NFL to take over the town billboard.

  16. ok & what’s the economic impact of hosting a Super Bowl in your city? How much money is spent on your hotels, restaurants, etc.? Seems like a pretty important part of the equation to gloss over

  17. This is precisely why it doesn’t bother me at all when players like Revis hold out demanding top dollar..The NFL sticks it to everyone. First and foremost, you and me.

  18. Lol. Typical corporate gravy trainers the NFL establishment. Golf privileges in the summer and fall before the event, yeah that has alot to do with the Super Bowl.

    People, cities are wising up to the corruption of the Olympics. The corruption and greed of the NFL will catch up to them pretty soon.

  19. What a shame: What the NFL has turned into. Most people can’t afford to attend “any” NFL games let alone the Super bowl. Yet, the commissioner can 44 million or so a year.
    If you want to watch your favorite team? Well then you have to pony up for Direct tv…. It’s a shame that the owners have the fans by the ass. The greatest game has just become one of the biggest farces in the world of sports. It’s all about the money. The government should look into what is going on here…… Oh wait, I forgot. They bigger thief’s than the NFL..

  20. And children in this country go without food and proper books in their schools but millions can go to woo a Super Bowl which makes the town money they spend on getting other events to make money which they spend to get more events etc…. Priorities are completely screwed up.

  21. In cases like this the F in NFL stands for ‘Free’ with one notable exception, when they ask YOU to pay for their product.

  22. Yah, the local taxpayers (most can’t even afford to go to a game) get to pay higher taxes while a handful of local businesses get to reap the benefits.

    The local politicians and the “inner circle” will then complain about paying ANY taxes on the obscene money to be made (we provide the jobs) while the local tax payers will have their homes thrown into foreclosure if they don’t pay the extra property taxes, to pay for this grand party. Meanwhile we cut back on school lunch programs and fixing our roads.

    Corporate Welfare at its extreme.

  23. It’s stuff like this and demanding baseball teams move their already scheduled games around why I am slowly losing interest in the NFL. This country is football drunk and it’s annoying

  24. lets try again to get posted. glendale loses money everytime. locals can’t go ( cost prohibitive. traffic snarled. crime goes up. not something i would wish on anybody. as far as the money goes i haven’t seen a dime in my pocket, tax’s haven’t gone down if anything they have gone up, the only guys making money on this is the owner and out of state corps that own the big hotels in scottsdale. loser deal.

  25. Wait, so they agreed to give this stuff up, and the city (i.e. the Mayor), doesn’t even know what it is? Is this a superbowl bid or Obamacare?

    But the whole “this should be completely transparent” thing isn’t realistic. It SHOULD be, but ALL government spending should be. If all government spending was transparent, taxpayers would of rebelled against public sector unions decades ago

  26. Nothing surprising or new here. Commander Goodell has been prostituting and pimping the NFL for years. The ONLY way the former league as we once knew it returns is if the sheep take off the blinders and quit spending and supporting this greedy character.

  27. I was born and still live in Minnesota. I’ve followed the Vikings since they came here. Sure, it’s a bragging point to host a Super Bowl. But I’d like to see an independent financial analysis regarding the ‘alleged’ economic benefits for doing so. For instance, after you deduct all the costs absorbed in just making the bid, the tax breaks given, all the freebies given, how much does the community really net off the whole deal? You can argue that the hotel, restaurant, and bar owners make a ton of money. On one hand, they may, but how much of it gets eaten up by having to comp stuff for the NFL? And extra taxes to cover the loss from some of those other unrelated freebies? Three golf courses? Who gets to eat that loss? Free hotels and parking? Who eats that? Police OT for escorts and security? Who pays for that? The citizens, of course. All this comes out of the supposed ‘economic windfall’.
    This windfall is way over-blown by the NFL boosters and the NFL itself. It’s sort of like the old con, “Hey, give me two tens for this fiver.”

  28. All the more reason for Green Bay to host. Regardless of your like or dislike for the packers, a Super Bowl in Green Bay would be the peoples Super Bowl. We know the corporate $:&&:)/&/”,!??: won’t stay at the Super 8, golf at the local 9 hole course, or sit their bum on cold metal bleachers. Real football fans would be thrilled and say bring it on…

  29. I dont think many of you realize how little, if any, the local economy will gain in net profits. Theyll be lucky to just break even. A week of 100,000 extra people does not equate to that much more when you account how much you spent to have them there.

  30. Couldn’t this be construed as some sort of misappropriation of funds not from the cities, but for the NFL execs who get the perks? If they are to be performing in the NFL’s best interest, they should be negotiating the best monetary package to be shared amongst the teams and not swanky suites and golf courses for only a select few.

  31. What’s the problem? The cities make a free market decision on how much they can give and still get a good return on their investment in tourism, tax dollars and marketing for their city.

  32. Yesterday, wasn’t PFT and a bunch of folks on here saying the NFL should stop Veterans from making Rookies pay for overly-extravagant dinners?

    Yeah, cuz why? – it’s against corporate policy or the NFL is so good at teaching fiscal responsibility?

  33. Cities will stop including these things in their bids when they decide it isn’t worth it. Why do you think the same cities are bidding year after year when they’ve already hosted it multiple times? Because it’s worth it to them. If you have something someone else wants, you’re going to get as much as you can for it until people decide it isn’t worth what you’re asking. It’s called the law of supply and demand and it isn’t that complicated.

  34. All the handouts from the government and most of the owners are Republicans.


  35. Under the Freedom of Information Act the bids submitted by the city should be able to be obtained by anybody who asks…

  36. And if you don’t agree, you don’t have to spend one penny. That’s the same rule for all professional sports. Don’t go to games. Don’t buy merchandise. Don’t buy NFL Sunday ticket. It’s all free if you want it to be!!

  37. The sense of entitlement is alarming. Back room deals tend to get out nowadays, so I would guess it is just a matter of time until some dirty laundry gets aired. This kind of stuff is just the smoke – the “fire” is probably close behind.

  38. I worked for 12 years at the Peabody Orlando Hotel. I attended the pre-cons representing the Security Department with our meeting planners as we hosted the clients meeting planners. What the clients requested they received if we wanted their business. FOLKS THATS LIFE IN THE REAL WORLD. THEIR CALLED PERKS.

  39. If I get millions in gifts each year, Uncle Sam will ask for his money on tax day–can someone please clarify if the NFL will be responsible for paying tax on these “gifts” or if they are a not for profit (lol)

  40. and this is a big deal why?

    if you were in negotiations…FOR ANYTHING…wouldn’t you ask for as much as someone is willing to give?

  41. If you assume 50,000 extra people in the city for a week, and each ones spends $3,000, then the total revenue from the Super Bowl is $150 million. Doesn’t seem like paying as much as recent cities have makes too much sense.

  42. It’s like having a ton of gold, but to get it home you have to carry it across the desert by yourself. Yippee!

  43. By the way, revenue generation by hosting a SuperBowl is a myth. You will never find the numbers to support it, only superlatives .

  44. Independent analysis have been done of the economic impact of having the Super Bowl. Outcome: Super Bowls LOSE money for the host cities. Especially southern ones where you don’t really get a bump in visitors because people go there in February anyway. In fact, you lose the dollars that go to places other than the stadiums. These freebies only add to the losses.

  45. the local businesses make money from this and by local more than likely large chain stores. So very little money will go to small business.

    The NFL is making a mock out of the tax payer. Luckily, I love this sport but hate everything else


  46. $30 million?

    You would never make that back as a host city, no matter how much people spent while in your town. Does the host city get an interest of the game revenues?

    That’s just theft. It’s sickening.

  47. Vikings fans, on a story about how their city is getting bilked by the NFL…… immediately start talking about Green Bay.

    Shocking. I’ve never seen this behavior on PFT before….

  48. I’m sorry. Did I miss something here? No one said Minneapolis or New Orleans or New York or Northern California HAD to big to host the game. They must see some value in it. Enough comments about Republicans and Corporate Welfare. Maybe those of you writing those need to learn the laws of supply and demand.

  49. So we have a multi-billion dollar industry and they are tax exempt. Then to add insult to injury they seem to think that they are intitled to have all this stuff handed to them.
    I remember once years back when I owned a very large cleaning service, the NFL team in our area put out bids form maid service, when I filled out the terms they came and demanded I do the whole thing for a loss. I asked how they thought this would be a good business decisions, they informed me that since they were a NFL team that I should be happy to work at a loss. I walked out, told them I would not do anyone for a loss with the exception of my parents. Needless to say I never got the bid.

  50. Well considering this is the only way the vikings will ever get to see a winning Superbowl, with someone else winning it on their home turf, I guess this would make sense. Goodness knows the most lonely place in their facility is their Superbowl trophy case.

  51. If you want to showcase a metropolitan area, Minneapolis did it during the right time of winter.

    -Snow plowed into huge piles at the sides of every street. Steam billowing up from every building.
    -Daytime high temp of 10F and overnight low of -30F.
    -Ladies wearing galoshes and big thick coats.
    -The smell of melting snow, sand, and salt when entering every building.
    -Slow traffic on snow packed streets in dirty cold automobiles.
    -Ice sculptures, snow sculptures, and other art
    -7 hours of daylight (gray overcast)
    -ice fishing, eating lutefisk, and other cultural events
    -tour buses taking people out to rural areas to see the northern lights

    Minneapolis will impress the world.

  52. Is this really surprising to anyone? Another example of pseudo corporate welfare. The NFL can’t afford to pay their own green fees. Come on! How greedy have we become?

  53. And hey, we are going to add some more commercials. There will be a 3 minute commercial break between every 3rd and 4th down. NFL needs to make more money.

  54. Police escorts? Why not? What’s the safety of the populace compared to the intolerable suffering owners would have to go through if they had to sit in traffic in their limousines.

    I’m as guilty as anyone, but when will we fans finally wise up and say, “enough’s enough” and no longer pay unreasonable fees for sporting events and products?

  55. What a bunch of greedy swine. I’m glad my city can’t host a Super Bowl and have to grovel in front of Lord Goodell.

  56. I think one thing we can all agree on. That Green Bay, will “NEVER” be able to host a Super Bowl in that Po-Dunk Hick town. If you are going to be a legitimate contender for Super Bowls, and hosting them, towns like Green Bay, Buffalo will be vacant in the next 30 plus years.

  57. Green Bay can’t host a SuperBowl, because the market is too small. So what? The only reason Minneapolis is getting it is because they are building a new stadium at taxpayer expense, convinced the taxpayers that it was a good deal, they are paying for it through the nose, and they’ll never get their money back. It’s a loser. Pride only…that’s all you’re getting. You’re a prideful bunch anyway, so good luck with that.

    We don’t care.

  58. Nobody is “missing the point.” The only historic source for revenue generated by hosting a SuperBowl comes from the NFL. Surprise, surprise.

    Economic scholars from coast-to-coast all say the same thing. Nada.

    Displaced revenue is replaced revenue. It’s really quite simple.

    Be proud of the fanfare and the atmosphere and be proud of how well your city and your fans can be gracious hosts…..but stop with the economic benefit drivel. It does not exist.

  59. Suites in high-end hotels for owners- doesn’t that kinda go without saying? I mean come on- do you think a SB committee is going to tell the owners to find their own accommodations- first come, first serve?

    I’m not sure about how the 35,000 parking spaces are going to be used- or why they need so many- but I’m guessing its not the first time they asked for it either.

    The other stuff is not particularly surprising or eye-opening.

    And to all the ‘displaced/replaced revenue’ folks out there: how many people do you think visit Minneapolis in February?

    Displaced revenue in this case is as close to zero as possible. If it were New Orleans, it would be another story, but Minneapolis in February- it all flows to the bottom line baby.

  60. Check out the bottom line for Indianapolis. Similar size, similar weather, similar “winter destination” in February. I won’t even give you the numbers, they’re easy to find.

    This doesn’t mean it won’t be a good time and something to be proud of, but moneymaker it is not.

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