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Super Bowl or Super (Hyper)Bole? Assessing the Economic Impact of America's Premier Sports Event


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Civic boosters generally have estimated the Super Bowl to have an impact of $300 to $400 million on a host cityÂ’s economy. The National Football League (NFL) has used the promise of an economic windfall to convince skeptical cities that investments in new stadiums for their teams in exchange for the right to host the event makes economic sense. In fact the recent average public contribution for a new or renovated NFL stadium, $209 million, is less than the size of the economic impact estimates. The purpose of this paper was to evaluate booster claims. Statistical analysis reveals that, on average, the Super Bowl could not have contributed by any reasonable standard of statistical significance, more than $300 million to host economies. Indeed, the evidence indicates that at best the Super Bowl contributes approximately one-quarter of what the NFL promises.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2003-15.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in European Sports Management Quarterly, Vol. 6:4 (December 2006), 353-374.
Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2003-15

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Keywords: Super Bowl; Football; Sports; Impact analysis;

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Cited by:
  1. Victor A. Matheson & Robert A. Baade, 2003. "The Paradox of Championships “Be Careful, Sports Fans, What You Wish For"," Department of Economics Working Papers, Department of Economics, Williams College 2003-13, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  2. Victor Matheson & Robert Baade, 2005. "The Paradox of Championships: Be Careful What You Wish For, Sports Fans," Working Papers, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics 0504, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  3. Victor A. Matheson, 2003. "Research Note : Contrary Evidence on the Economic Impact of the Super Bowl on the Victorious City," Department of Economics Working Papers, Department of Economics, Williams College 2003-14, Department of Economics, Williams College.


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