Little known Glendale, Arizona, played host to Super Bowl XLIX, reaping economic benefits anywhere between $50 million and $600 million. Next year, Santa Clara stands to gain that windfall. Are we ready?
The discrepancy between the two economic benefit figures depends on who’s doing in the analysis. But even the “worst-case” scenario means the game will be an economic boon to the community.
Most studies refer simply to the city that hosts the Super Bowl. Having been to five Super Bowls, the flaw in such an analysis is it fails to take the whole region into consideration. New Orleans, which does a great job for patrons, certainly received an economic windfall when it hosted the Harbaugh Bowl (a.k.a. The HarBowl). But every city in the surrounding region also got a boost. Hotels in Baton Rouge were filled, as were hotels in Biloxi, Mississippi—both more than 80 miles from the host city.
The Super Bowl generates billions in activity nationwide, as consumers rush to buy everything from big screen televisions to Doritos for the big game. So are we ready?
The host committee in Santa Clara will have its hands full and it should look to how other cities have fared. New Orleans and Miami are great venues. Palo Alto hosted in 1984, and those folks should be queried on what went wrong and what went right.
There is a myth that a home team has never hosted a Super Bowl. But in 1984, the 49ers won the event. Only by a technicality—the game was hosted at Stanford and not Candlestick—can people make that claim. Reasonable individuals know the 49ers are 1-0 in Super Bowls played in the Bay.
For those who have never been to a Super Bowl, it’s basically two weeks of partying followed by a football game. Fortunes can be made in two weeks with the right enterprise. Hotels, taxis, bars, restaurants and everything in between will be in great demand. Those who prepare and market themselves are sure to see profits increase. Those who fail to understand the magnitude of the opportunity will forever regret it.
It’s not simply the two teams and their fans who show up to the game; it’s the entire world. Every network works remotely for two weeks from the host city. Reporters from around the globe descend upon the host city. How Santa Clara treats these people, and how much fun they have, will be recorded for posterity. Of course, major corporations will sponsor huge events and parties, as well as be on hand to sell their wares.
The opportunity to sell Santa Clara as a place that knows how to do business will be on display for these high-rollers. And preparations need to begin now.
More Super Bowls could be forthcoming if Santa Clara and the region receive high marks from the NFL and business community. NFL executives have been salivating to return to the Bay since the successful Super Bowl of 1984. The only downside was the stadium itself was ill-equipped to host a gathering of that size.
Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara has solved that problem. Now the NFL is coming back to take advantage of everything this region has to offer. Are we ready?