When the NFL awarded the 2018 Super Bowl to Minneapolis, Minnesota, there were many hoops through which the city and state were required to jump through before they could get a whiff of the big game. Those stipulations were mostly kept secret until the Star Tribune got their hands on the full list of the NFL’s demands. Some of them will make you feel better that your hometown will never host a Super Bowl (I’m looking at you, Buffalo).
The entire 153-page document can be found within the Star Tribune link and for the most part it’s a pretty readable piece compared to the mess of legal jargon one might expect in such a paper. The demands begin at around page ten of the document and continue for quite a while.
There’s a quote just before that list begins that really catches the eye.
“Budgets for Super Bowl Host Committees in recent years have ranged from $12 million to $50 million. ” That includes a $1 million donation of the NFL’s choice to which they’ll match.
Requirements range from the expected (ample hotel rooms, luxury rooms, Super Bowl banners) to the odd (free bowling lanes). If you have the time and the patience to wade through some jargon in the middle, it really is a worthwhile read. If anything, it opens our eyes to the manner in which sporting entities can absolutely steamroll civic offices into paying for anything and everything while the league collects every penny of ticket revenue for the actual Super Bowl.
Granted, local Minnesota businesses will do great for that Super Bowl week. Hotel and restaurant workers will be bow-legged by the end of that week. But will the city and state thrive enough as a result of the Super Bowl to the tune of $50 million in tax revenue coming back to the offices paying for the right to host? Unless they do, the state of Minnesota is already starting its 2018 Super Bowl bidding plans on the wrong side of the ledger.
Though when it comes to events like the Super Bowl or the World Cup, it seems like losing money is the safest bet for a host city.