SBJ/Jan. 24-30, 2011/Events and Attractions

Cost of NYC Super Bowl could reach $50 million

Staging a Super Bowl around New York City is apparently 25 percent more expensive than was originally anticipated and, consequently, the revised fundraising goal for the 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII Host Committee is $50 million, according to numerous industry sources.

Such a figure would mark the highest budget ever for a local host committee.

After the game was awarded to New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., last May, New York Giants and Jets officials talked about having to raise $40 million to stage the NFL’s championship.

While not confirming nor denying the revised figure, New Meadowlands President and CEO Mark Lamping said the final budget was not set in stone. “We don’t have a budget that is final yet, and I don’t think any host committee could have one this far out,” he said. “We have been readjusting everything budget-wise, and our main focus has been on raising revenues, which is going well.”

Lamping would not say if any host committee sponsors had signed, although several industry sources indicated that a handful of deals had been struck, if not completed.

COURTESY OF NEW MEADOWLANDS STADIUM CO.
Jets owner Woody Johnson (left) and Giants owners Steve Tisch (center) and John Mara, are hosts for the game, a cold-weather rarity for the Super Bowl.
As the formal “hosts” of Super Bowl XLVIII, Jets and Giants ownership will be the group to which any board reports. Host committee co-chairs are Woody Johnson and Jonathan Tisch.

A search is ongoing for a CEO of the host committee. The search is being conducted by Turnkey Sports & Entertainment, which had no comment on the state of the process.

With the 2014 game in New Jersey and next year’s in Indianapolis as paradigms, the NFL is entertaining increasing interest in Super Bowl bids from cold weather locales, and whether they are weather-related or not, the costs associated with the host committee events around staging the game are escalating. This year’s Super Bowl host committee, an amalgam of many North Texas communities including Fort Worth, Dallas, Arlington and Irving, had a $40 million budget, with a record $26 million of that raised privately.

“Host committee sponsors get some marketing rights and benefits like tickets, hospitality and suites, but the real benefit and the reason people and corporations supported it so well down here was for civic pride and the promise of economic impact,” said Bill Lively, president and CEO of the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee. “Aside from the excitement any Super Bowl brings, that’s what you’re selling.”

Of course, football isn’t as much of a religion in the New York area as it is in Texas, so will the same pitch be able to underwrite a $50 million budget?

“The bar is definitely being raised, and clearly you’ve got the costs associated from being in that [New York] market,” said Mike Kelly, who has headed Super Bowl host committees in Jacksonville, Tampa and South Florida and consulted for this year’s Super Bowl prior to his current job as associate commissioner at the ACC. “New cities and new markets are involved, and the NFL isn’t going to move it anywhere new unless they know it will be bigger and better. It’s probably safe to say New York will set every other bidding city’s expectations that much higher. In the end, it all comes down to a measure of corporate civic support and responsibility, particularly in newer cities like Dallas and Indianapolis. But you know the board they put together in New York will have more star power and Fortune 500 companies than any one before, so I don’t see it as a problem there.”

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