How super is the Super Bowl for Atlanta in hosting the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams?
First, how big will the economic impact be? A “conservative estimate” is $185 million, according to Brett Daniels, chief operating officer of the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee.
That’s more realistic than the estimated $370 million in local spending purportedly netted by the Minneapolis region for the 2018 big event, per a consulting firm. The Bowl numbers tend to be inflated, in the view of Kennesaw State University’s J.C. Bradbury, an economics professor. After Atlanta was announced as host of this year’s Super Bowl, Bradbury told a radio interviewer the economic impact is “normally way overstated.”
The super beneficiary is the National Football League, Bradbury suggested, since sales taxes will not be collected on Super Bowl tickets under a law signed by former Gov. Nathan Deal in 2016 as bidding was underway to host the event. Bradbury noted, “that’s about a $10 million benefit that goes to the NFL, which is a multi-billion industry.” Generally, the KSU professor said, some local businesses indeed benefit but “if you’re an Atlanta citizen, you’re a loser” because of higher sales taxes levied to subsidize the spectacular Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta, the drawing card for the 2019 game and termed “the finest sports and entertainment facility in the world” by Dan Corso, president of the Atlanta Sports Council.
Of course, business and political leaders tout the advantages of presenting Atlanta to the world for future visitors and economic gains as a major part of the story. And there’s loads of publicity for Atlanta, generated by nearly 100 million television viewers expected to tune in — many of them more interested in the super expensive, creative and provocative commercials that advertisers concoct for this once-a-year fantasia. The price of a 30-second spot on host CBS costs a staggering $5.25 million, roughly $175,000 per second. That’s about double the $2.69 million for a half-minute spot back in 2008. But, as International Business Times put it, “there is no better marketing opportunity,” and the rewards for Super Bowl ads “are humongous.”
Ticket prices are another super feature of this annual tribute to sports American style. One month ago, the ticket price was listed at an average $8,000, according to secondary marketer ticketiq. That was way up in the stratosphere but much less than the average $10,000 per ticket a month ahead of the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston, the highest in the last five years. By January 20 this year the price was down to $3,230 for seats in the upper end zone row 23, and the priciest seat in Section C110 behind the Los Angeles Rams bench at the 50-yard line was listed at a mind-boggling $13,585, with only about 2,300 tickets available on the secondary market. By last Thursday, the starting price for an upper section ticket had dropped to $2,328 on ticketiq.
Betting on the game also reaches super proportions. CBS News reports that Americans will bet an estimated $6 billion on the game, first Super Bowl since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized sports gambling last year. About one in every 10 Americans, or 22.7 million, is expected to place what’s called proposition bets “on everything from who the first touchdown scorer will be to what color Gatorade will be poured over the winning team’s coach.” The upshot is that one in six viewers will be betting on some aspect of the game, which is a lot more than might have been expected — another sign of how things are changing in this society or is it just better reporting on something not new at all?
In its report on the big game, CBS Sports said before answering key questions, “another highly anticipated part of the game” had to be settled — how long will the national anthem last? This year, the singing star is Atlanta’s own Gladys Knight and the odds are that she will be in line with the last six Super Bowl performers who went over one minute and 45 seconds. More than likely, you can bet on that if you’re into betting. In any event, you can be sure that this is going to be a super event.