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The Host City Always Loses the Super Bowl

Historically the event has hurt local taxpayers and the poor, and Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco is shaping up to be no different.
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AP Photo/Charlie Riede

In Sunday’s Super Bowl at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, one team is going to win and the other will lose. But what’s clear is that, as with Super Bowls past, the host city’s poor and middle-income residents will certainly not come out on top.

Even though the stadium is in Santa Clara, it’s San Francisco taxpayers who are footing the bill for Super Bowl-related festivities. The city is shelling out almost $5 million for hosting, according to the latest report by the city budget analyst Harvey Rose. The NFL—a multi-billion dollar organization—is doing nothing to ease the city’s cost burden. Santa Clara, meanwhile, is having its hosting expenses covered as per a deal with the NFL Host Committee (although the cost of constructing the stadium was borne by taxpayers).