Forget Carolina and Denver: The Real Super Bowl Winner Is the Bay Area

The event is expected to bring more than $220 million in direct spending to the San Francisco Bay Area, according to estimates by PwC US.

Does a Super Bowl Really Help the Local Economy?

Fans of the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos will head to Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California this weekend, giving a boost to the local area's businesses. The event is expected to bring more than $220 million in direct spending to the San Francisco Bay Area, according to estimates by PwC US, which considers characteristics unique to this year's event such as the participating teams, attributes of the local region, national economic conditions and scheduled activities.

The following chart shows the estimated direct spending associated with the Super Bowl, dating back to Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego in 2003, the last Super Bowl hosted in California.

Note: Figures are nominal
Note: Figures are nominal
Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

To get that estimated $220 million cash boost, the Bay Area cities will need to spend a little, too.

Although the City of Santa Clara itself has an agreement with the Host Committee to reimburse all city expenses associated with hosting Super Bowl 50, including public safety services, fire and emergency medical services, neighboring San Francisco has to fund most of its own related costs.

Services provided to Super Bowl 50 public events will cost San Francisco close to $5 million, according to a Jan. 15 document available on the City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors website. The Golden Gate City is expected to attract at least 1 million visitors as it throws three major game-related events, the document said. 

The largest commitments of city services will be made by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the police department. Unlike other departments, Parks and Recreation will be fully reimbursed by the Host Committee and it's expected to report revenues of $42,199. The chart below shows what San Francisco estimates it will have to shell out to host Super Bowl crowds.

Source: Budget Analyst Survey of City Departments, City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors

While host cities may see a boost in tax income from Super Bowl visitors, they don't earn a dime from ticket sales. The National Football League mandates that tickets are sold tax-free. Here's how much the face value of a ticket price has gone up since the first Super Bowl in 1967 — funds the city itself is not pocketing.

*Indicates prices have been averaged as tickets were offered at different price levels. Each category of ticket was equally weighted in the average. Prices have not been adjusted for inflation.
*Indicates prices have been averaged as tickets were offered at different price levels. Each category of ticket was equally weighted in the average. Prices have not been adjusted for inflation.
Source: National Football League


This interactive StoryChart originally ran in Bloomberg Brief: Municipal Market. See the original online here.


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