The Truth Behind the Super Bowl

Sam Braun, Staff Writer

At around 9:15 PM on February 4th 2017, well over 103 million Americans watched the most important game of the year for the National Football League: the culmination of Super Bowl LII. Crowds both in the Minneapolis stadium and couches everywhere else went wild as Nick Foles and the rest of the Eagles beamed as it rained green and white confetti.

To many, the most horrific thing about the night was the thought of Philadelphia stealing yet another Vince Lombardi Trophy from Tom Brady. What most Americans should be afraid of, though, is the fact that the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis was almost entirely funded out of the common man’s wallet.

More than half of the massive $1,129,000,000 check that paid for the new and shiny stadium was taken from the budgets of Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota. Better yet, seven and half million taxpayer dollars will go towards maintaining the monstrosity.

The worst part of this whole mess is that out of the millions of dollars in revenue that the Minnesota Vikings franchise makes at the U.S. Bank Stadium, none of it goes back to the government. This pattern can be observed in 28 of the 32 National Football League, or NFL stadiums across the nation. Keep in mind the fact that the NFL is the most valuable sports franchise on the globe, clocking in at around $78.6 billion, so they certainly do not need to rely on public financing to build their arenas.

NFL officials argue that by creating large construction projects, they attract thousands of new jobs to the cities and states where the future stadiums will be located. Additionally, people from all over the country would travel to these locations for games, and as a result millions of dollars will be spent in the regions and help grow the local economies. Yet, according to Robert Noll, a professor at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, “NFL stadiums do not generate significant local economic growth, and the incremental tax revenue is not sufficient to cover any significant financial contribution by the city.”

Whether brand new stadiums help or harm the economies, the truth of the matter is that cities do not have a choice to pay for stadiums or not. If a city declares that it will not fund a new stadium, their local teams threaten to and will leave, as seen in St. Louis, San Diego, and Oakland in 2016 and 2017. Having an NFL team leave a city would spark uproar from locals, who have extreme pride in their sports teams. So, when you are one of the hundred million Americans watching Super Bowl LIII in 2019, remember to see through the colorful confetti and take a long look at the stadium that brings great burdens to its hometown.