Sizing up Santa Clara's Super Bowl chances for 2016

Sizing up Santa Clara's Super Bowl chances for 2016
March 27, 2013, 9:30 am
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Some observers believe Miami's decision to not approve the NFL's financial rollback requests gives Santa Clara a leg up in gaining approval for the 2016 game. (AP)

The real question is this: Where will all that money be residing in local cash registers?

On May 22, NFL owners will choose between the Bay Area and Miami as host city for Super Bowl 50 in February 2016.

On March 19th, the Santa Clara city council agreed to waive its 9.5 percent hotel tax for 350 NFL employees and traveling parties of the two competing teams. Santa Clara anticipates making up the lost revenue by selling out additional hotel rooms that normally might be vacant at that time of the year.

The exemptions on Super Bowl tickets include a 10 percent ticket surcharge -- which would have raised about $6 million based on current Super Bowl ticket prices -- and a 35 cent ticket fee that would have raised about $25,000 to fund local senior and youth programs in Santa Clara. Tickets for the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans cost $850 to $1,250. You can bet the face value will be significantly higher by 2016.

Additionally, Santa Clara won't impose a $4.54-per-space parking fee at nearby lots for their Super Bowl. This per-space charge will be in effect during regular season 49ers home games and will help fund police and traffic management.

Unlike Santa Clara, the Miami Super Bowl organizers rejected the NFL financial rollback requests. Some observers believe that this Miami decision gives Santa Clara a leg up in gaining approval for the 2016 game. Miami has hosted 10 Super Bowls. The Bay Area has hosted only one, in 1985 at Stanford. The Bay Area has been left out of the Super Bowl rotation due to lack of a worthy stadium.

Next year’s game will be at the New Meadowlands stadium in New Jersey. In 2015, the most lucrative game in sport will be back at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Santa Clara City officials are anticipating private donations will offset the revenue lost from waiving the parking fee and ticket surcharges to help pay for police, fire, and other public safety costs. The agreement mandates the Bay Area Super Bowl Bid Committee, headed by Tipping Point CEO Daniel Lurie, to pay back many of the costs the city of Santa Clara incurs.

Although I can’t say for sure what the price tag is for the week of Super Bowl, some insiders believe the number is around $50 million.

City officials agreed to the deal because they still expect to make money, citing past Super Bowl hosts that have seen the event spur hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity. The real question is this: Where will all that money be residing in local cash registers?

We know where the game is going to take place in a magnificent new stadium and that alone should be a tidy sum for the city of Santa Clara. However we live in a market with a dizzying array of places to dispose of disposable cash.

Super Bowls are regional parties on a grand scale and many of the thousands of visitors will be sampling the best of the Napa Valley, Monterey Peninsula, Reno-Tahoe as part of their time here. San Francisco will be the beneficiary of the Five-Star-hotel crowd along the with culinarians on corporate expense accounts going to work on their Four Star restaurant list in San Francisco.

Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews had this to say about this massive civic undertaking: “The way we’re doing the Super Bowl here and putting in our bid is really a great regional effort because we’ll be able to highlight everything from the Golden Gate to Silicon Valley and of course right in the epicenter of it during the game and before and after the game will be Santa Clara.”

Two thoughts come to mind from the mayor’s remarks. Never use “epicenter” in talking about a mega sporting event in the SF Bay Area, and where will cabbies from SFO drop people off when the fare says "take me to 'The Silicon Valley?'”

Santa Clara Super Bowl Bid Committee
Daniel Lure- Chair
Nikesh Arora
Todd Bradley
Willie Brown
Ron Conway
Lloyd Dean
Joe D’Alessandro
Pat Gallagher
John Goldman
Carl Guardino
Thomas Keller
Chris Kelly
Michael O’Hara Lynch
Mary Murphy
Laurene Powell Jobs
Condolezza Rice
Joe Saunders
Charlotte Shultz
Charles Schwab
Jeff Ubben
Jim Wunderman
Gideon Yu


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