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Hosting a Super Bowl always comes with a cost

Updated December 16, 2021 - 6:11 am

IRVING, Texas ­— Las Vegas on Wednesday was chosen by NFL owners to host Super Bowl LVIII in 2024. Now, in a very specific way, the town gets to pay for it.

You’re not getting the game without giving something (a lot) back. The NFL has a platform of demands that the host city must provide the league.

“We’ve worked through the entire agreement with the NFL,” said Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “These opportunities don’t come around that often, and we’re going to take advantage of them. We are in a conversation with virtually every major sporting event in the world.

“They belong in Las Vegas. A part of our job is to make sure they get there.”

Here are a few examples of what Minneapolis provided the NFL in 2018 for hosting the Super Bowl, all free of charge:

■ Police escorts for team owners.

■ Use of presidential suites at the city’s top hotels.

■ 35,000 parking spaces.

■ All revenue from ticket sales to the game.

■ Two bowling venues.

■ Portable cellphone towers.

■ Advertising space from local newspapers and radio stations.

Expect similar demands and more to be made in Las Vegas.

Some numbers

Hill said the host committee will pay $55 million for such amenities and engage sponsors to help offset the cost by perhaps some $20 million. The LVCVA then becomes the financial guarantor of the difference.

Hill also estimates the game will produce an economic impact of $500 million, with another $70 million projected in state and local taxes.

“I would say from the moment they give you the game, it’s important to set goals about what is important to your city,” said Maureen Bausch, CEO of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, prior to the 2018 games. “It takes a lot of work and planning and resources and thousands of dedicated volunteers.

“Hopefully, every last detail can be covered and taken care of. But if you use the platform the NFL gives you, the actual end product can be better than the renderings.”

Hill said he will be requesting of his board in January or February a $40 million commitment to ensure the league’s platform is covered.

“That (amount) gives us a little contingency to work with,” Hill said. “We want to make sure we can fund the entire event.

“This is virtually the same thing with almost every major event we host. We make contributions to make it happen, as does every competing city around the world.”

Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney can be reached at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

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