By Joseph Sykes | Sports Editor
As football fans know, the Super Bowl isn’t just a game, it’s a spectacle. Every February, one city gets to relish in that spectacle while also garnering some national attention. This
Sunday, San Francisco will host America’s most watched sporting event, but not without a cost.
According to a report filed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the big game, which will feature the NFC’s Carolina Panthers and the AFC’s Denver Broncos this Sunday at Levi’s Stadium, is expected to cost the city approximately $4.8 million – most of which is taken from the city’s general fund. Nearly all of it ($3.8 million to be exact) will be spent on improving transit systems and paying the San Francisco Police Department for additional law enforcement.
According to SF Weekly, the NFL made a deal with San Francisco that required the city to make these purchases in order to host Super Bowl 50. The paper also reported that both the league and the Super Bowl Host Committee, which searches for ideal locations for future games, will not be reimbursing San Francisco for these purchases as part of said deal. This information was not available to the public before SF Weekly published their reports due to the lack of formal documentation between the two parties.
On the other hand, Santa Clara – the site of Levi’s Stadium – which is located about an hour south of San Francisco, will be reimbursed for any expenses relating to the Super Bowl. According to the same report filed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Santa Clara’s estimated reimbursement will be around $3.5 million – $3.5 million more that will be added to the aforementioned $4.8 million. So, in total, the Super Bowl will cost San Francisco an estimated $8.3 million.
Apparently, the city has not allocated any of these funds yet either. According to the aforementioned report, the supervisors will get that money by redirecting funds from planned projects such as building constructions and road repairs, and they’re not even sure this will work.
Still, no matter how the city pays off these expenses, many expect they will make it all back the day after the game. That’s not true. According to USA Today, most of the money will go to the NFL, while the rest of it will go to the state, not the host city. So there’s nothing set in stone saying that San Francisco will make money on this deal.
In fact, when Glendale, Arizona hosted the Super Bowl in 2008, the city lost $1.6 million despite the state grossing hundreds of millions, according to Fox Business.
San Francisco isn’t guaranteed a financial gain after Sunday night, but it would be best if they have all their expenses paid off by then. Still, no matter what happens, there will be a Super Bowl 50. The NFL has enough money that if they needed to lend San Francisco an additional $8 million, then they will. The game is too much of a money maker in itself to be put on hold.