Selling the Big Game: Economics of Super Bowl XLVIII

Media across U.S. turn to Holy Cross prof. to understand economic impact of Super Bowl

January 29th, 2014 by 
Victor Matheson

Crowds have started gathering in New Jersey to watch the Seattle Seahawks take on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.  They’re staying in local hotels, eating in local restaurants, and shopping in local stores.  However, according to Victor Matheson, professor of economics at the College of the Holy Cross, who specializes in the economic impact of ‘mega-sporting events’ on host cities, they’re not making East Rutherford, N.J.,  any richer.

In fact, Matheson’s research, shows that mega-sporting events like the Super Bowl fail to generate significant profits and could even end up costing the host city.

Matheson tells NPR’s “Morning Edition” that the total economic impact of the game is close to zero, despite the NFL’s claims to the contrary, in a radio piece today titled “Is There An Economic Benefit To Hosting The Super Bowl?”

“If I’m the mayor of New York or Newark or Trenton, I love the Super Bowl being in my backyard,” Matheson tells the New York Times. “There is nothing better than being a bigwig at the center of all this attention. Who wouldn’t want a party thrown for them, especially if somebody else is paying?” Read the entire story, A Super Bowl Estimate With a Life of Its Own (Jan. 25).

“The empirical evidence … tends to show an economic impact somewhere between one-tenth and 1/25th of what the NFL projects,” Matheson told the International Business Times in a story today titled “Will The New York-New Jersey Economy Win Big? NFL Says Yes, Economist Says No.”

Matheson shares his research and insight with media outlets across the country.

Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch,

For additional information, please contact Cristal Steuer at 508-793-2419.

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