Thursday, May 25, 2017

Tampa Lands Super Bowl LV, Politicians Amazingly Refrain From Making Economic Claims

As I reported for WTSP this week, the Super Bowl's return to Tampa is not yet a done deal, as local organizers have a 90-day deadline to secure a slew of agreements from local businesses and taxpayer-funded agencies that spell out exactly what concessions will be made to the NFL for the "right" to host the 2021 game.

Among the requirements the NFL makes of host cities is to provide all police, fire, medical, and other governmental planning services free-of-charge during - and leading up to - the Super Bowl. Those expenses may run into the tens of millions.  Tampa's City Council agreed to those terms last year.

We also know, from a leaked 2013 NFL document, the league typically expects a long list of hotel-, entertainment- and transportation-related concessions from host cities.

But the most jaw-dropping news this week may have been how the Super Bowl-to-Tampa news didn't prompt the typical claims of robust economic impact.

I'd like to think that may have something to do with my frequent watchdogging on inflated and unfounded claims from local politicians, related to spring training, St. Pete's new pier project, the 2012 Republican National Convention, and the 2017 college football championship game - even once bringing a four-year-old in at one point to simplify the equation.

RELATED: Numbers don't support college football playoff economic boom

There have also been numerous economists who have looked into the economic impact of Super Bowls, and time and time again, most academics find the game's disruption to the local economy negates most gains a city would otherwise enjoy. In short, some industries win while others lose.

So yes, while Super Bowls are special, they are also expensive.

Last fall, Tampa's city council agreed to not only provide all police, fire, and medical services for Super Bowl week for free, but also any governmental planning, infrastructure, and security costs associated with Super Bowl events.

In addition to hosting football championships, the Tampa Bay Sports Commission has also enjoyed recent success luring less-complicated and less-expensive sporting events (along with their visitors) to town, from youth tournaments to the 2016 NCAA Frozen Four and 2019 women's Final Four.






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3 comments:

  1. How about, since Tampa now has leverage, that our local leaders tell the NFL we will not meet any of your requirements, but you are welcome to play here. If the NFL does not like that, then it can play the game in Detroit. Now that would be leadership!

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  2. "I'd like to think that may have something to do with my frequent...", lol, yup it's all because of you!. It's to bad our city opted to lose money to host a Super Bowl, huh, a conservative smoke screen?

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