The Economics of Super Bowl XLVII: U.S. to spend $12 billion for annual sporting event

Despite total household debt in the United States reaching nearly $13 trillion, Americans will spend approximately more than $12 billion on the annual Super Bowl this weekend as the Baltimore Ravens taken on the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans.

Although there has been a severe financial decline in the U.S. since the 2007/2008 economic collapse, average Americans are still spending an astronomical sum on things like snacks, sporting apparel and new electronics. The average consumer is slated to spend $68.54, up from $63.87 a year ago, while the impact of Super Bowl XLVII is expected to bring in close to half a billion dollars to the New Orleans region (short-term rather than long-term).

What’s interesting about the data is that most of the money fans and consumers will be spending on is food. Americans are expected to eat about 30 million pounds of snacks, 158 million avocadoes, 50 million cases of beer and 1.3 million chicken wings, though the prices of this popular food item has soared over the past year because of droughts in the Midwest and McDonald’s.

Pizza is also extremely popular. Pizza Hut is projecting to sell two million pizzas on the day of the Super Bowl, a figure that is 1.3 million more than on an average day – pizza delivery drivers can expect anywhere between $2 and $20 extra in tips.

Aside from televisions, whose price tags are usually down 17 percent around this time of the year, all the prices of these food items will be higher than compared to a year ago. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the cost of chicken is up nearly 14 percent, beef and veal are up 6.1 percent, dairy products are up 3.9 percent and alcoholic beverages are up 3.1 percent.

Not only are consumers paying a hefty price so are corporations.

Since the championship game is being broadcast in 180 countries around the world in more than 30 languages, the official broadcaster CBS is charging advertisers roughly as high as $3.8 million for a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl. Last year, the football extravaganza reached 111.3 million viewers and was the most-watched single television program ever in the United States. Will this be a nice return on investment?

If you plan to attend the Super Bowl live, you must have paid between $850 and $1,250. Or, if you use secondary ticket vendors, like Stub Hub, you must’ve spent around $1,650. There will be scalpers at the stadium and they will most likely charge $5,000 for a ticket. Don’t forget to bring a few hundred dollars extra for parking.

Those who are concerned about the federal government’s debt, deficit and spending ways have used the Super Bowl weekend to talk about the nation’s finances. For instance, BankruptingAmerica.org published an article that talks about how the government spends as much as a 30-second television spot every 30 seconds.

“It’s time lawmakers in Washington understood that the money they spend is real and that they are borrowing from future generations while destabilizing the U.S. economy,” the report stated. “I don’t know about you, but if I had $3.8 million to run an ad during Super Bowl Sunday, it would be to tell the government to cut spending and waste and to reduce the debt and deficit.”

Others have urged Americans to “boycott the Super Bowl.” In 2010, Mark Dice, an author and a staunch critic of how Americans live their lives, went on live television and told viewers they should boycott the Superbowl and read a book instead.

“I would rather have us focus on something other than the Super Bowl. When we have a society that knows and cares more about sports than they do about events that actually affect their lives, I think that’s a problem,” explained Dice. “We can learn about the serious issues; the Bilderberg group, the Federal Reserve, if we got excited about politics and yell and scream as loud as we do for sports, then maybe we can prevent the scumbags in Washington, D.C. from flushing this country down the toilet.”

The NFL Super Bowl XLVII begins at 6:30 p.m. EST.

Like this article? Get ECN delivered to your inbox daily. Subscribe here.

Leave a Comment