Bottom Line: Cold cash, not cold weather, determines Super Bowl towns.
Minnesota and Minneapolis are funding 51 percent of the $975 million cost to build the New Vikings Stadium – the temporary name until naming rights are sold. Pillsbury Doughboy Stadium anybody?
Lets break the code for fans, or um, taxpayers, who complain about cold weather Super Bowls.
Super Bowls are rewards – a promise kept to jurisdictions that pony up to fund new stadiums. Like New Jersey, Indianapolis, Dallas…and Minneapolis.
And there is this from Wikipedia (You can always trust Wikipedia):
“Super Bowl XLIV, slated for February 7, 2010, was withdrawn from New York City’s proposed West Side Stadium, because the city, state, and proposed tenants New York Jets could not agree on funding. Super Bowl XLIV was then eventually awarded to Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. And Super Bowl XLIX in 2015 was originally given to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, but after two sales taxes failed to pass at the ballot box, and opposition by local business leaders and politicians increased, Kansas City eventually withdrew its request to host the game. Super Bowl XLIX was then eventually awarded to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.”
Minnesota faced a $1 billion deficit when it agreed after a long political battle to fund New Vikings Stadium. Tax-payers were squeamish, but fans would have exacted a high price if the pols lost the team to Los Angeles.
Governments fund about 71 percent of the cost of new NFL stadiums. Super Bowls can jump start the cost recovery of the investment and add to a community’s caché. That is especially attractive to cold weather cities with names ending in “apolis.” Minnesota struck a bargain with the NFL to keep the Vikings in place.
The Giants and Jets funded the $1.6 billion cost to build MetLife Stadium. Few franchises can afford to do that. New Jersey still kicked in $250 million to support the effort.
Related story: The Atlanta Falcons broke ground today on their new stadium and owner Arthur Blank is lobbing for the 2019 Super Bowl.
It used to be true that Super Bowls were located and warm weather venues because they were escapes for fans of cold-weather teams.
Then it morphed to boondoggles for high rolling corporations strengthening ties to deep pocketed customers. The rich will follow Super Bowls anywhere. States will spend to attract them in hopes of gaining jobs and new tax revenue.
The NFL had to award Super Bowl 2018 to Minneapolis, because St. Louis, Los Angeles, Oakland, Toronto/Buffalo and London are watching.
The game is much more than football. And why shouldn’t a very smart league want its most valuable event staged in its most impressive venues. Have the seen the design concepts for the new Vikings and Falcons stadiums? They are stunning.