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Windfall for Super Bowl Hosts? Economists Say It’s Overstated

“We are taking a conservative approach with the numbers,” Michael Langley, the chief executive of the Minneapolis-St. Paul economic development agency, said. “But even if you are only talking about $350 million to $400 million, that’s a huge benefit to the community, just in terms of dollars spent in February.”

Photo

When Indianapolis hosted the Super Bowl in 2012, workers installed a large image of the Lombardi Trophy on a downtown hotel.

Credit
Peter W. Stevenson for The New York Times

Sports economists don’t view the situation quite the same way. They said the economic impact study for the Minneapolis Super Bowl began by saying all the right things about how past estimates had “been criticized as extremely overinflated, inaccurate, even purposely misrepresented.” In the end, though, it did the same thing.

“They always talk really good about that stuff, and then they go off the rails,” said Victor A. Matheson, a sports economist at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.

Matheson has written extensively about the effect of Super Bowls. He has…

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