Daily Reads: Superbowl Economics

Now that the Superb Owl has passed for another year, I’d like to share this article about how investments in sporting arenas and teams and the big events they generate are not the economic boon to cities that sports boosters would like us to believe. Travis Waldron of Think Progress zeroes in on the economic woes of Glendale, Arizona, host city to the 2015 Super Bowl, and details how the city has gone desperately into hock financing major sporting facilities and events. I personally found it extremely refreshing that Glendale’s mayor spoke publicly about the fact that the Super Bowl, rather than making money for his beleaguered city (see what I did there?), actually put Glendale deeper in the hole (note that the Super Bowl was awarded to Glendale before he became mayor). The public is taken in by the idea that the Super Bowl and events like it generate millions of dollars in economic activity, so the cities who get to host them will make big bucks. While it is true that there is millions of dollars in economic activity, what is not discussed is what those numbers really mean. “Economic activity” is a nebulous term – it does not parse the data to see where that economic activity is actually taking place and who benefits – or not – from the money that is changing hands. This article and others like it are important for us to understand what our cities may be signing up for when they tout sports teams, facilities, and events as positive economic drivers.

The Super Bowl Comes To Glendale, The City Ruined By Sports

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.