Super Bowl Economics

By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek

January 25, 2013

Since the start of 2012, New Orleans has hosted the BCS National Championship, the NCAA men’s Final Four, and two Sugar Bowls. This year the Super Bowl and NCAA women’s Final Four come to town. Next year, New Orleans gets the NBA All-Star Game and another Sugar Bowl. The economic impact of all these events will far exceed $1 billion. The Super Bowl itself is expected to bring in $423 million, up substantially from the $323 million Indianapolis generated last year.

A lot of money will be changing hands in New Orleans this weekend. Tickets on the secondary market are averaging $3,100, making the street value of 76,000 seats about $237 million. Super Bowl merchandise revenue is expected to be around $150 million. Legal gambling in Las Vegas should top out around $100 million, while illegal betting across the country will be more than $1 billion.

As for some of the costs to stage the Super Bowl, New Orleans has invested $1.2 billion over the last few years on various public/private improvement projects, including road work, airport improvements, and private renovations by hotels. The Super Bowl host committee raised $13.5 million - $6 million from the state and $7.5 million from corporate sponsors.

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