Does Super Bowl Tourism Pay off for the Host City?

Destination & Tourism–Tons of economic studies have been done on the benefits of hosting big events such as political conventions, World Cups, Olympics and…Super Bowls.

Some have said the expenditures by local governments—including paying for hotel rooms for both teams, NFL officials, a payout to the host team, and internal items such as increased security and overtime for law enforcement—doesn’t equal the reward.

Miami, which hosted Super Bowl LIV this past Sunday, even waived sales tax on the cost of tickets to the game.

But experts and city officials say it’s worth it and they expect to reap the general consensus of $400 million in economic activity from tourists.

“I do believe that the Super Bowl does generate, does have an economic impact of that order when you look at it in the overall context,” said Florida International University business instructor Nicolo Alaimo. “At this time of the year, Miami is gorgeous. If you’re up north freezing, you’re watching this, you’re going to want to be here—maybe not for the Super Bowl, but you’ll want to come to Miami.”…

In fact, Miami Tourism didn’t even need to advertise during the game.
“It’s priceless media coverage,” William Talbert, president of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the Miami Herald. “It’s at least a week of 24/7 Miami. The pre-show was a Miami infomercial.”
There were enough features on the city and South Florida to more than make up for what would have been a $5.6 million expenditure.
How so?

Well, the numbers aren’t in yet but here’s an example of what a very small event earned in free publicity. In 2010, Chelsea Clinton got married in the small town of Rhinebeck, N.Y., a little more than two hours north of Manhattan. Hosting the wedding of the former President’s daughter was a big deal for the town, and hundreds of media descended on Rhinebeck.
Rhinebeck earned a whopping $14 million in free publicity from three days of coverage, according to the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based firm Joyce Julius & Associates.

Joyce Julius tracks all media mentions from newspaper, magazine, television, radio and internet stories, and, using its proprietary metrics, develops a dollar figure on what it would have cost to purchase such advertising.

Now let your mind wander what seven days of coverage meant to Miami for hosting one of the world’s biggest events.
The city is already convinced, telling local media it would like to have another Super Bowl by 2030.