Written by: William Morris
The organizing committee for Super Bowl LII says the economic impact of the event at U.S. Bank Stadium surpassed even its own consultant’s expectations.
More than 120,000 visitors brought more than $370 million in net new spending to the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metro area during February’s NFL championship, according to a study released Tuesday by the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee. The overall boost to the Twin Cities’ gross domestic product, taking into account the ripple effect of wages paid during the event, was pegged at $400 million.
The study was prepared by Pennsylvania-based Rockport Analytics, which before the game had predicted net new spending of approximately $338 million.
Gov. Mark Dayton, an honorary chair of the committee, announced the results at a press conference Tuesday morning with host committee CEO Maureen Bausch. Bausch said the Super Bowl made a statement about what Minnesota has to offer for events and tourism.
“The fact that we hosted well, and we did it at the hardest time of year, the game was the coldest game on record … people had wonderful results, great experiences, so I think we’re ready to host another [big event],” she said.
The Twin Cities and U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis are already preparing for the next big sporting event. The 2019 NCAA Final Four organizing committee expects the event to bring an additional $142 million to the metro when it arrives next year.
Much of the Super Bowl’s boost came not from the fans, but from the NFL, media organizations and event organizers that spent a Super Bowl-record of $179 million on local hosting expenses, according to the report.
But visitors spent plenty of money as well. Rockport calculated that 58,800 ticketed fans and 30,310 visitors who attended other events during the 10-day Super Bowl period spent an average of $608 per day. Typical tourists average about $124 per day.
The hospitality industry benefited heavily from the Super Bowl festivities. The report found out-of-town attendees occupied 84 percent of the metro’s hotel capacity during the 10-day period, with more than 98 percent occupancy in the final four days. In total, visitors spent more than 266,000 nights in hotel rooms over the duration of the event.
Peer-to-peer rentals such as Airbnb reported an additional 63,000 room nights rented. In a statement sent late Tuesday, Airbnb policy director Laura Spanjian touted the success of its efforts to double the size of its Twin Cities host community before the game.
“Moving forward, we want to build on this foundation to infuse a permanent long-term impact for the region,” she said.
A separate analysis by Tennessee-based STR found that local hotels saw revenue more than triple from $22.9 million between Jan. 26 and Feb. 3, 2017, to $73.2 million in the same period of 2018. Revenue per room did even better, jumping between 519 percent and 970 percent in different metro communities.
“We wanted to bring visitors to Minnesota during a traditionally low season, and hotels saw three times their traditional revenue during that period,” Bausch said.
To calculate the economic impact of the Super Bowl, Rockport first estimated gross local spending at $450 million, then subtracted $80 million to account for normal February tourism likely displaced by the Super Bowl, and another $78 million for goods and services purchased from outside the metro.
To account for the long-term impact of the $273 million in wages paid during the course of the event, Rockport estimated another $108 million will be spent throughout the year, bringing the total impact to $400 million.
The report also found outside visitors generated $32 million in additional state and local tax receipts.
The Super Bowl committee’s Legacy Fund distributed $5.5 million in philanthropic dollars through 52 grants around the state, on projects ranging from school breakfasts to new parks and playgrounds. Dana Nelson, the committee’s vice president for legacy and community partnerships, said the grants were awarded to create a long-term benefit for communities far beyond the metro area.
“The grants area really intended to have a much longer lasting legacy, for years and years past the game being played,” she said in an interview.
And there’s a lasting impact for the metro business community as well. Meet Minneapolis, which manages the Minneapolis Convention Center, reports that meeting and convention leads have risen 30 percent since the Super Bowl was announced, including a 10 percent year-over-year boost in the first four months of 2018.