Written by: Dan Gladman
When it comes to the Super Bowl, there’s no shortage of eye-popping numbers. The indulgence and sheer quantity of Super Bowl related content and ‘stuff’ to be consumed this week is never ending, and that includes articles.
Yet here’s another story, focused on, well, the hugeness of the Super Bowl, especially financially speaking.
The game itself will kick off at 6:30 pm eastern time on Sunday, February 11 between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, a rematch of the Super Bowl played four years ago. But that game was played in Miami.
This one is in Las Vegas.
The glamour of the glitzy Sin City location combined with the history of both teams and an NFL season that trended upwards in every way, has this Super Bowl poised to be the most lucrative event ever in American sports.
The National Retail Federation of the United States concluded from a recent survey that 200.5 million American adults plan to tune into the game. That’s more than half the country’s population. The NRF report continues to say that “total spending on food, drinks, apparel, decorations and other purchases for the day is expected to reach a record $17.3 billion, or $86.04 per person.”
The Super Bowl already is a holy event in Vegas, but with the game being played there for the first time, the city is preparing for an onslaught of moneyed adventurers. According to Forbes, “all of Las Vegas’ 152,000 hotel rooms should be booked, translating into about 330,000 descending on the city for this year’s game.”
Many others will come to town and crash on a friend’s couch. The population of Vegas has more than doubled in the last 20 years to nearly three million people today.
Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada – the venue for the game – should be able to squeeze in just under 72,000 spectators, leaving the majority of locals and visitors to watch from casinos, restaurants, bars and hotel rooms.
Last year’s Super Bowl was played in Phoenix. Forbes reports that it generated $1.3 billion in total economic activity or gross output for Arizona, including a $726.1 million total contribution to Arizona’s domestic product.
Certainly Vegas will surpass this on hospitality alone but with the additional benefit of gambling, there might not be enough zeroes in the world to fully encapsulate the amount of money to be left in town this week. Forbes estimates that bets on last year’s Super Bowl totaled $16 billion across the U.S.
Good luck getting a ticket. The Street reports that the average ticket price on resale is $12,082, 36% more than last year. That was one week ago. The price will go up as the game gets closer and closer.
What about television? The game will be broadcast live on CBS. Forbes says that 70 ads were run during last year’s Super Bowl. “The average cost to run a 30-second ad was $7 million.” Including additional in-game sponsorship and branding, this Super Bowl could generate upwards of $600 million of ad revenue.
Statista stated that 8.6 million viewers in Canada watched last year’s big game. This was the highest rated show in the north for the entire year yet it was one million less viewers than the most watched Super Bowl in Canadian history – the aforementioned 49ers-Chiefs matchup in Miami in 2020.
Eight Super Bowls rank in the top 20 of the most viewed TV shows in Canadian history. Only Olympic hockey and ceremonies, and game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals featuring the Vancouver Canucks, rank higher. The eight Super Bowls even rank higher for viewership than Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, when the Toronto Raptors won their first and only championship.
Stewart Johnston, Senior Vice-President, Sales and Sports at Bell Media, which will broadcast the Super Bowl on its CTV and TSN channels, said, “It’s the most coveted position for advertisers to showcase their brands for Canadian viewers during TV’s biggest live broadcast of the year.”
With this Super Bowl flush with history, tradition and star power, the multitude of storylines takes centre stage. Will Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs win their 3rd Super Bowl in five years? Will a much-maligned young quarterback named Brock Purdy silence the critics and give San Francisco its first NFL title since 1995? How many catches will Travis Kelce make, leading to the now world-famous cutaways of pop music megastar Taylor Swift?
There can be no oversaturation of demand for this dreamy Las Vegas Super Bowl. The hype is everywhere, justifiably so. America’s most shining moment continues to grow, demanding the attention of every North American, and much of the world.
Guessing the final result of the game is a 50/50 proposition.
But gargantuan profit is ironclad.