Frigid Super Bowl LII brought $370 million in net new spending to the “Bold North” Twin Cities area, according to a report released Tuesday by Gov. Mark Dayton’s office and the local host committee.
The final tally by Rockport Analytics came in $50 million over the consulting company’s pre-Super Bowl projections. It also said the 10 days leading up to the Feb. 4 game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis brought in $32 million in new tax revenue for state and local government.
“We hosted well,” said Maureen Bausch, CEO of the host committee.
The report put gross local spending by visitors, companies hosting events, and the media and operations teams at more than $450 million. Subtracting $80 million for tourism displaced by the event resulted in net spending of $370 million that would not have happened but for the Super Bowl, it said. The figures don’t include game tickets. Adding in the economic ripple effect brought the total incremental contribution to the metro area’s gross domestic product to $400 million, it said.
That spending “resounded through the local economy,” said Ken McGill, managing director of West Chester, Pennsylvania-based Rockport.
Sports economists tend to be skeptical of revenue claims from massive sporting events, saying that events may be fun for the community but any monetary windfall to a region is illusory.
“The Super Bowl is definitely positive, but nowhere near the $450 million positive in terms of dollars in local people’s pockets,” College of the Holy Cross professor Victor Matheson said. For examples, he said, hotel revenue goes mostly to out-of-state chains, and money from sales of jerseys mostly goes to the NFL and manufacturers.
Despite subzero cold and heavy snow, the event drew some 125,000 tourists, which Rockport defined as ticketed and non-ticketed visitors who came from at least 50 miles away or spent a night in hotel. The report said 83 percent of first-time visitors said they would return. The Meet Minnesota convention and visitors bureau said meeting and convention leads are up 30 percent since the game was announced. Leads were up 10 percent year-over-year in the first four months of 2018 alone.
The report found that the average Super Bowl visitor spent $608 per day during an average stay of 3.9 days, compared with a typical tourist who spends about $124 a day. The Super Bowl generated more than 266,000 hotel nights with an average daily room rate of $249, the report said. Thirteen percent of visitors used peer-to-peer rentals such as Airbnb.
More than 1 million visits were made by locals and travelers alike to Super Bowl Live, the free fan festival held over the 10 days leading up to the game.
U.S. Bank Stadium will be in the national spotlight again next April when it hosts the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four. Rockport predicts the tournament will bring $124 million in net spending to the region and $23 million in tax revenue.