Super Bowl Ticket Can Punch up Economy

January 31, 2014

Denver Business Journal

Even though economic development and tourism officials agree that having the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl is a good thing, measuring the economic impact when your city isn’t actually hosting the event is almost impossible.

Denver did get a boost from hosting two playoff games in January, according to city and tourism officials. The two playoff games in January added an extra $10 million to $20 million to the local economy, they said, based on studies done by other cities.

And the gorgeous weather worked in Denver’s favor on Jan. 19 during the AFC Championship game here against the New England Patriots.

“You couldn’t have asked for a better day to show off the assets of the community,” said Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. “How many times did they mention the beautiful weather?”

The Metro Denver EDC worked with its national public relations firm, Development Counselors International, to get an estimate of the advertising equivalency of the multiple positive mentions of the weather and the city during the broadcast of the AFC Championship game.

“Based on an estimated viewing audience of 51.3 million and estimated 30-second ad rates of $316,192, they estimated an advertising equivalency of $1.2 million, based on two minutes of positive mentions,” said Janet Fritz, director of marketing and technology for the Metro Denver EDC.

Though it may be hard to quantify, there also will be several “soft benefits” to the city because the Broncos are in the Super Bowl.

“Any time your city can be front-page news for good reasons, it’s always going to put the thought in people’s mind that that’s a good place to live or relocate a business,” said Mac Clouse, professor of finance at the University of Denver.

One academic study in 2002 detailed complicated formulas that suggested “winning the Super Bowl increases real per capita income in the home city of the National Football League champion by about $140, about a 1 percent increase relative to the mean.”

The study, “The Economic Impact of Postseason Play in Professional Sports,” by Dennis Coates and Brad Humphreys, found that winning the Super Bowl was the only post-season sporting event that had a positive effect on the winning city’s economy.