Super Bowl Prediction: Taxpayers Lose

Who will win the Super Bowl? Computer
 it will be the Seahawks by a close margin. But,
who will lose? That’s a wholly different matter. Regardless of
which team scores more touchdowns at MetLife Stadium on Sunday,
taxpayers will likely walk away with an “L.”

The state of New Jersey has already spent $17.7 million in
preparation for the game, much of which has funded infrastructure
upgrades for the temporary tourism boost. The Asbury Park

that, “NJ Transit … spent a total of $12.4 million
to support Super Bowl-related initiatives,” such as extending
subway platforms and building new bus service facilities. Not yet
calculated is how much beefed-up local law enforcement will cost,
though state attorney general’s office spokesman Paul Loriquet
asured the Press that “the single-digit millions of dollar
range” would be a reasonable guess.

New Yorkers will foot the bill, too, since they are co-hosts.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has allotted $5 million of the state budget for
Super Bowl-related matters. How will it be spent? The Times

that “the host committee’s spokeswoman has refused to
take calls or answer most inquiries,” but half the money will
facilitate a Times Square celebration, $500,000 will wine and dine
media personnel, and another $500,000 will fund promotional
banners, posters, and scarves. Just like its neighbor, New York
local law enforcement.

Even federal dollars will have some skin in the game. Because
the Super Bowl is considered a
Level I national security event
, the FBI, the Department of
Homeland Security, along with its subsidiary, the
Customs and Border Protection agency
, and even the
Federal Aviation Administration
will all be in attendance.

Though, none of these costs quite offsets the New York/New
Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee’s
about economic stimulation. It has, like
some politicians,
assured that the game will generate a whopping $500-$600 million in
activity for the cities.

Unfortunately, those numbers may be wishful thinking.

“The problem with the figures reported… is that they consider
all spending associated with the Super Bowl as part of the overall
economic impact. However, much of the spending that occurs does not
directly improve the local economy, as visitors aren’t necessarily
buying what the local economy is selling,”
the financial transparency website NerdWallet. The
site estimates that the impact will be 60-70 percent less than
official estimates, or about $194 million.

Sports economist and Lake Forest College professor Robert Baade
is less generous in his calculations. He
that “$50 to $60 million would be a generous appraisal
of what the Super Bowl generates.” He previously conducted a study
of several decades of Super Bowls; each “only accounted for about
$32 million each in increased economic activity” in the host

For more Reason coverage of the often unseen cost
of professional sports, watch Nick Gillespie’s
with Greg Eastbrook below: 

from Hit & Run

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