Thinking of hosting a Super Bowl in your backyard? The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has unearthed the list of demands that the NFL presents cities with (or at least presented Minneapolis with) in exchange for awarding the Super Bowl, and holy moley, it’s even crazier than anyone thought:
- A free squad of city police officers to stop the sales of counterfeit tickets and unauthorized merchandise.
- A waiver of government licensing fees for as many as 450 courtesy cars and buses.
- A one-mile-wide “clean zone” around the Super Bowl stadium and a six-block one around the NFL’s hotel where nobody can do anything that isn’t approved by the league. (Sell stuff or protest, presumably.)
- At least 20 free billboards.
- Travel costs for 180 people to take a “familiarization trip” in advance of the Super Bowl.
- Use of 35,000 free parking spaces.
- Hotels where the teams will stay must televise the NFL Network to guests for one year before the game.
- Free cellphone towers, if the cellphone service isn’t good enough.
- Installation of ATMs at the stadium that accept the NFL’s preferred credit and debit cards, and removal of ATMs for conflicting services.
- Free ad space in local newspapers and air time on local radio stations to promote the game.
- Free police escorts for team owners.
- Free use of two “top quality bowling venues,” for the Super Bowl Celebrity Bowling Classic, and of three “top quality golf courses” for the NFL Foundation Golf Classic.
- And, last but not least, full exemption for the league from city, county, and state taxes.
The NFL’s bid requirement document begins with the statement that “the day of the Super Bowl game [is] America’s unofficial holiday, a day when the attention of an entire nation is focused on the game in one region.” So don’t think of it as handing over your wallet to one of the world’s richest sports leagues, Minneapolis. Think of it as tithing.