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home : columns : columns June 25, 2016

2/6/2013 11:09:00 AM
The Super Bowl and Minnesota
Whenever the words "Super Bowl" and "Minnesota" are used in the same sentence, the thoughts of old-timers like me go straight to Bud Grant, Fran Tarkenton and Alan Page.
So I apologize to folks who read my headline and expected to see something about the great Purple People Eaters. Today's topic has more to do with the future than the past.
After all, the new Vikings stadium virtually guarantees Minnesota will host a Super Bowl, provided the state ultimately decides to put a roof on it.
This week, I came across a story by Danny Monteverde of The Baton Rouge Advocate. Monteverde investigated the economic impact of this year's Super Bowl on the local economy.
What he found should serve as a cautionary tale.
According to Monteverde, the "Super Bowl Host Committee" projected the game's local impact to be $434 million. I'm sure Minnesota stadium proponents were salivating upon seeing that number in print.
I can already hear them saying: "Well, there's half our investment right there."
Hold on. Monteverde offered this follow-up: "That figure, though isn't the net revenue that local and state governments will deposit into their treasuries, experts argue, and many local businesses said they had disappointing or slower business than expected."
For instance, Monteverde wrote about Pam Doerr, the operator of a small jewelry shop in the French Quarter. She told Monteverde she made two sales between Thursday and Saturday of Super Bowl week. Both sales were to local customers.
Another source in Monteverde's article, an artist named Bob Clift, said his last sale occurred on Jan. 27. Other merchants reported lackluster sales and pointed out that people had parties and other functions to go to before the weekend.
On the flip side, Monteverde's article indicated that there wasn't hotel room to be found in the New Orleans area during Super Bowl week. And, there's no doubt that hosting a Super Bowl brings tremendous publicity and prestige to a state. I think we saw that when the Metrodome hosted Super Bowl XXVI in 1992.
A Super Bowl can certainly help our state. But we should all be aware that we are guaranteed a visit by the Super Bowl hype machine. Take its projections with a grain of salt.

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