The Super Bowl Winner? The Host City

 Businesses Spend As Cities Are Showcased For Future Business Meetings and Events

It’s too early to know whether the Denver Broncos or Carolina Panthers will be champions, but there is already one clear winner of Super Bowl 50: the San Francisco Bay Area.

Already, business travelers are streaming into the Bay Area from across the nation, to attend corporate networking events, meet with customers and close deals.

As a result of the Big Game, the San Francisco Bay Area will reap a windfall of roughly $350 million, according to Rockport Analytics, GBTA’s economist partner who has conducted research on behalf of several Super Bowl Host Committees.

This includes more than $68 million in direct business travel spending associated with corporate sponsorships, media, NFL operations and ancillary events.

The Super Bowl isn’t just a game that only lasts about 3 and a half hours counting commercials. In the weeks leading up to the spectacle, it is a business bonanza and an opportunity for the host city to showcase its facilities.

There’s a reason cities clamor for the right to host the Super Bowl: it delivers the goods, not only in driving dollars to the local economy, but also in bringing business leaders together from across the nation.

For business travelers, the Super Bowl has become the preeminent business development event of the season. The power of a major event such as the Super Bowl is enormous because of what it attracts – business leaders, corporate sponsors and diehard fans.

As GBTA’s chief economist Kenneth McGill says, “What the Super Bowl does is turbo charge an entire geographic area. Suddenly hotels that may have been partially full are sold out months in advance. Every activity gets ratcheted up – from restaurant bookings, car services, catering and event locations.”

Here’s a breakdown of how a local economy gets a boost through business travel spending:

Super Bowl Chart

(Source: Rockport Analytics, Various SB Host Committees, NFL, ESPN, CBS, Fox, Various corporate sponsors)

Super Bowls also help showcase a city and its facilities. Visitors who enjoy their trip for the game may suggest to employers and associations that the host city could be a place to visit for future conferences and events years down the road.

Hosting the Super Bowl is such a major endeavor; corporate sponsors know if they can handle it, they can handle anything.  So while it’s hard to put an exact dollar figure on it, hosting the Super Bowl reaps benefits for years to come for business events.

One final note:  Super Bowl hosting also brings out debate on the extent of the benefit.  Is the economic activity associated with the Big Game incremental or just replacing other activities?

Local officials seem to think it provides a big boost. Here’s how they say they have scored by hosting the Super Bowl:

2015:  The thriller between the Seahawks and Patriots delivered for Phoenix, which generated $450 million.

2014:  The game was a blowout, but that didn’t stop the New York/New Jersey area from claiming Super Bowl spending records with a $600 million bonanza.

2013: The Big Easy made out big with $480 million when the dust had settled from the 49ers-Ravens nail biter.

So, no matter the odds on the game itself, the economic benefit is a sure thing.  And once again, business travel drives lasting business growth.


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