Now that the Superbowl is over, I find myself asking, who determines the monetary projections for sporting events? Not just the Superbowl, but the Olympics for example. I read that the Superbowl was projected to bring in as much as 600 million dollars to the local New York and New Jersey economies. Then I read it was more likely to be one-tenth of that projection or 60 million dollars. Actuaries and accountants are asked to come up with projections but just like what meteorologists do, they make projections or predictions based on the best factual evidence available to them. Unfortunately it doesn’t always pan out.
But what about simple, common sense? For some reason, someone came up with the idea that local new Jersey hotels would be sold out as would the New York City Hotels. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. And why would they be? The Superbowl took place in a stadium across the Hudson river from New York City and surrounded by the states of New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. New York’s Borough’s and Long Island combined are home to more than 15 million citizens. Met Life Stadium holds 80,000 fans. Who in the world thought millions or even hundreds of thousands of people would flock to the big game when we have more than enough people to fill those seats living within 50 miles(80km) of the stadium.
Add to that the number of people who were expected to fly in to the city and the madness was only compounded. How many people could actually fly in to see the game, 20,000? There are three major airports in the New York/New Jersey area so that doesn’t add many additional bodies to our airport terminals. The entire event seemed out of proportion right from the start. Did anyone do the math on how much the game cost both states in terms of law enforcement/security? The dollars are astronomical. Did the NFL pick that up? Don’t bet on it.
Finally, there’s the single most important factor, the game itself. If the New York Giants had been matched against the New York Jets, it might have been the single greatest, revenue generating event in sports history. But when one team is on Pacific time, the other on Mountain time, and the host city on Eastern time, the amount of revenue generated from memorabilia and team apparel falls off a cliff. Other than select fans, the numbers are limited. Yes the Superbowl is a great event but without an emotional attachment to either team, the game is hollow, empty, without real meaning. After all, that’s what sports is all about. The love for your team. Without that, the game is simply an excuse to have a party, which, by the way, is the single largest generator of revenue on game day.