The column by Mr. Newberry on the highly over-rated benefits from hosting a Super Bowl are right on.
It is easy for politicians and major event planners to blow the benefit numbers out of proportion as it makes them look good in landing an event, and they don’t care about actual cost as they are spending someone else’s money — taxpayers’.
The best article I have ever seen came out of Indianapolis several years ago after they had hosted a Super Bowl. It came to the conclusion that what the city spent resulted in a LOSS as far as benefits are concerned.
If I recall, it was a LOSS of about $10 million or so, far lower than the inflated benefits normally assumed. What made that study so realistic is that no city has the experience of hosting major events as does Indianapolis, as they host the Indy 500 every year, now for 100 years.
Planning for Indy is nearly the entire month of May, not just one big week prior to the event like the Super Bowl. The live attendance is over five times the number of folks attending a Super Bowl, the corporate world is just as involved in both and the world attention is far more for an Indy Race than a Super Bowl, where interest is mostly confined to the U.S.
Indianapolis knows what events cost and knows far more than Atlanta, Miami or New Orleans what such events cost. The Super Bowl blows a lot of smoke as 32 capitalist owners turn into very liberal businessmen when the Super Bowl is involved, wanting all the “free stuff” they can get.
Obviously, Atlanta or any city gets tons of exposure from hosting a Super Bowl, but the economic benefits are very small and taxpayers pay the bills.