Here’s how much money Miami taxpayers will throw at next year’s Super Bowl

Miami is hosting the Super Bowl in February, and the Miami Herald has a rundown of how much local governments are paying for the privilege:

  • $4 million from Miami-Dade County to the Dolphins for hosting the game, as required by team owner Stephen Ross’s weird lease provision.
  • $3.8 million from the city of Miami for “police, firefighters, code inspectors, public works and solid waste workers to work Super Bowl-related events.”
  • $300,000 from the city’s Downtown Development Authority for “permanent LED lighting on the Baywalk.”
  • $1.2 million in fee kickbacks and $400,000 in cash from the city of Miami Beach for, you know, stuff.

That amounts to $9.7 million, but the Herald says the total public cost will be “nearly $20 million over time,” so clearly there are some costs the paper didn’t itemize. (Either that or the Herald cut its calculator budget.) Given that previous estimates of how much new tax revenue cities get from hosting the Super Bowl have ranged from zero to $5 million, this would appear to be a bad investment for Miami’s local governments, but don’t worry, they have ideas for how to earn it back:

“It also helps us attract other events,” [Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau COO Rolando Aedo] said. “We’re going to be vying for the World Cup.”

Alrighty then. At least Miami’s expense has provided us with some truly awesome renderings, including a “fireworks extravaganza in the sky,” because don’t you just hate those boring old fireworks that sit on the ground?


8 comments on “Here’s how much money Miami taxpayers will throw at next year’s Super Bowl

  1. I think one of the roles of government is to provide infrastructure, so that local businesses & workers — the hospitality industry, in this case — have a chance to thrive.

    • Governments may build infrastructure (either directly or through private contractors), but they rarely foot the bill when viewed over the long term.

      When you purchase unserviced land (no access to shallow utilities, no improved road access and thus no curbs, gutters, sidewalks etc), you typically pay about 10% of the price you would pay if the same parcel (be it a lot, an acre etc) had services extended to it.

      The city or town “owns” the infrastructure once it is installed (assuming it’s been done correctly, there are cases where municipalities refused handover of responsibility because they didn’t believe the installation had been done properly), and they may even have paid to have it installed in the first place (though this is generally only the case in small communities where developers are not interested in developing lots that will take years or decades to fully sell off). But make no mistake about who ultimately foots the bill… it is the land or property owner. The cost is either folded into the purchase price of a serviced lot or, more commonly, is included on a pro rated basis in the final selling price of the home or condo the end user purchases.

      Even in cases where there is no single ‘end user’, such as overpasses or main traffic arteries… the payback comes in the form of access to previously non-developable land which can then be sold for 8-12 times what it was worth before.

      The concept of ‘governments’ (which really means taxpayers – of which the vast majority of the taxes are collected from people who make under $100k annually) paying for the infrastructure needed to make a single business more profitable is a relatively recent development in the campaign for welfare for billionaires.

    • Right, but it has been demonstrated countless times that these types of events don’t really help industries thrive and if you have to pay for them create a net drain despite all the hoopla surrounding them.

      If a place wants to host the superbowl because they think it will be fun, that’s one thing. But if they think that it will create a lasting impact, that’s another. Ask Jacksonville. The superbowl rotates between major facilities (with the occasional outlier thrown in) because it’s good for the superbowl, not for the host community.

    • Great, now the Bengals are going to demand oversized mesh footballs, too. I wonder if they’re holographic?

  2. Hey, if the Super Bowl goes well, then maybe the local cities will have to pay for the World Cup too! Hooray!