Will Hosting The Super Bowl Actually Make Las Vegas Money?
Hosting the Super Bowl in any other city is a big deal. Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans. It takes a weekend that might have been relatively normal (besides the pizza shop being slammed and bars being full) and makes it the epicenter of the football world. However, every year Las Vegas sees a dramatic spike in visitors on Super Bowl Weekend. Without hosting the Super Bowl.
At the end of this season, Las Vegas hosts its very first Super Bowl. Question is… will it be worth it?!
How much does Las Vegas make on Super Bowl Weekend as it is?
According to data by Applied Analysis, the Super Bowl LIII in 2019 brought in over 310,000 visitors to Las Vegas (the game was in Atlanta) and had a $425 million economic impact. That’s pretty incredible considering the game was being played over 1,000 miles away.
What’s even more impressive is that money was being made without the trouble of hosting the game. The added security and infrastructure needed to host a Super Bowl can be pretty pricey.
How much has hosting a Super Bowl made host cities in the past?
If you just look at last year’s Super Bowl in Arizona, you’d think this is a no-brainer. An independent study found that Arizona generated $1.3 billion for the state for hosting the game. Wow! That’s up there with what F1 is promising Las Vegas.
But that’s not always the case. According to an article from Forbes, the math is a bit cloudier than that. New stadiums are built in order to woo the “big game” to their city. Allegiant Stadium cost over $750 million in public funding by way of a tax on tourists. Guess what? Turns out the league doesn’t pay to use the stadium, and they keep the money of all ticket sales to spread among all of the league’s teams.
Back in 2008, the then mayor of Glendale, Arizona admitted his estimate was the city lost big bucks, spending $3.4 million for the game, but only seeing back $1.2 million according to an interview with ESPN.
OK, so what about Las Vegas?
Depending on who or when you ask, you’ll be told hosting the Super Bowl will make Las Vegas an extra $500,000,000, $600,000,000 or even $700,000,000. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority expects the bill for hosting the event to tip around $60 million, with sponsorship dollars potentially paying a third of it.
Remember, not hosting the Super Bowl had 310,000 visitors in town. Considering there are “only” 150,000 rooms (among the highest number of hotel rooms for a city worldwide), that’s two people a room. There’s a potential we aren’t drawing many more people to town.
Only time will tell. It’s an incredible honor to host the Super Bowl, but between F1 and the Super Bowl’s grand predictions, many in the valley are keeping receipts.