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The Business of the Super Bowl: What’s at Stake for the Big Game’s Host City?

by Teresa Bitler

Feb 7, 2023

© Visit Phoenix

January/February 2023

On game day, Super Bowl host cities stand to gain almost as much as the teams competing on the field, if not more. The game can mean hundreds of millions of dollars in the days leading up to, during and immediately after the game, but it can also have an economic impact that lasts for years.

Eric Kerr, vice president of insights and development, Visit Phoenix, explains one can easily count the number of hotel rooms filled in a Super Bowl year or how many people fly into the city for the game. In 2015, the last time Phoenix hosted the game, more than 120,000 visitors came to the city for the big day, injecting more than $719 million into the local economy.

Harder to determine is the long-term tourism impact, however. Kerr said the greater metropolitan area received “incredible interest from Seattle” following the 2015 game, but no one can know how many people vacationed in Arizona after seeing images and videos during the Super Bowl

Phoenix estimates 6,000 members of the media will cover the game and tell stories about the city, its people and its attrac- tions. Major NFL events such as the Super Bowl Experience and celebrities attending events in the Valley will get coverage, too. If that weren’t enough, roughly 200 million people from around the world will then watch the game, and every commercial break will feature scenes from Phoenix and around the state.

“You can’t put a price on that,” said Santiago Corrada, president and CEO, Visit Tampa Bay, which hosted the Super Bowl five times, most recently in 2021.

Corrada points out the game impacts more than tourism. It shows the city does a good job hosting large events, such as conventions, and has the infrastructure for companies looking to relocate to the area. A Super Bowl can also convince a new airline to offer service to a city or inspire talented workers to move there.

“There’s a reason big cities compete for a Super Bowl,” he said. “It’s a great marketing tool.”



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