Sunday, June 8, 2014

MUST READ: NFL's Secret Super Bowl Demands

I've long lamented the secret guarantees made to sports leagues when cities land big events, suggesting at some point, the costs of something like a Super Bowl outweigh the benefits.

But a story in the Star Tribune about the NFL's secret demands in negotiating Super Bowl 2018 will make you cringe.  Or shake your head.  Or throw up.  I guess it depends where on the stadium subsidy spectrum you reside.

Regardless, it's a must-read.  Just the tip of the iceberg:
Free police escorts for team owners, and 35,000 free parking spaces. Presidential suites at no cost in high-end hotels. Free billboards across the Twin Cities. Guarantees to receive all revenue from the game's ticket sales — even a requirement for NFL-preferred ATMs at the stadium.
Those requirements and many others are detailed in 153 pages of NFL specifications for the game. An official on the host committee that successfully sought the game — Minneapolis beat out Indianapolis and New Orleans — said the panel had agreed to a majority of the conditions but would not elaborate.
There are no shortage of critics who ask why a publicly-financed stadium can operate in secrecy - with profits going to the league, not the owner of the stadium.

The NFL also requests (insists?) upon a ton of tax subsidies that, for the most part, have never been disclosed before.  So in addition to the cost of a stadium and police and city-run events during the Super Bowl, there are also at least tens of thousands of dollars in various taxes the league wants waived. 

You don't see those in economic impact reports, do you?

Now go read the whole thing.

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