Every so often, I get a call from a journalist asking what I think the economic benefits are to a city of hosting a Super Bowl. To which I can now answer with a link to this Indianapolis Business Journal story:
Scores of businesses in and around Indianapolis are licking their chops in hopes of scoring a windfall from the city’s hosting of the Super Bowl on Feb. 5.
But the city entity that manages Lucas Oil Stadium, where the game will be played, expects to lose money.
The Capital Improvement Board of Marion County is budgeting for total Super Bowl expenses of $8 million and revenue of nearly $7.2 million, leaving a loss of $810,000.
The main added costs are for extra police time and hiring of additional temporary workers. That’s partly made up for new tax revenues from the estimated $200 million in spending that will go on in the city during Super Bowl week,
But that tax money is limited, in part because, notes the IBJ:
- The NFL is using its tax-exempt status (yes, the NFL is tax-exempt, and yes, lots of other people also think this is ridiculous) to get its wmployees out of paying hotel and restaurant taxes.
- Food and beverage taxes collected inside Lucas Oil Stadium also won’t be going to the CIB, but will be diverted to the NFL.
However, Indianapolitans will at least get the thrill of watching the Super Bowl on TV and knowing that they could be there, if only they had tickets. Plus the free publicity that comes from the world learning what it’s like in Indianapolis in January. With benefits like these, who needs tax revenues?