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Super Bowl 2014: Will The New York-New Jersey Economy Win Big? NFL Says Yes, Economist Says No

Super Bowl 2014: Will The New York-New Jersey Economy Win Big? NFL Says Yes, Economist Says No

on January 29 2014 10:31 AM
Money Bowl - NY NJ Economy Benefits

According to Victor Matheson, an economics professor at Holy Cross University and co-author of the study “Super Bowl or Super (Hyper)Bole? Assessing the Economic Impact of America’s Premier Sports Event,” those figures may be inflated by as much as 96 percent. Matheson and Lake Forest College economic professor Robert Baade studied 30 Super Bowls from 1970 to 2000 to compile their report.

 “The empirical evidence … tends to show an economic impact somewhere between one-tenth and 1/25th” of what the NFL projects, Matheson told IBTimes.

He points to politics as a big part of the equation.

“The NFL and other sports leagues like to publicize large economic-impact numbers because that is a carrot they can wave in front of reluctant taxpayers,” he says, referring to the fact that taxpayers have to foot the bill for wear and tear on local infrastructure, overtime for police and extended hours for mass transit, among other things. “The NFL and the other leagues do fairly good jobs of measuring economic activity, but they do pretty poor jobs of measuring economic activity that doesn’t factor in the ‘substitution effect.’”

Which means, put simply, the money spent at NFL events in the run-up to the Super Bowl, such as autograph signings, concerts and the NFL Rush Zone for kids, would otherwise go to local establishments. In other words, it’s a zero-sum game.

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