NPR Story
3:40 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Super Bowl Economics: NY May Profit More Than NJ

Next week’s Super Bowl XLVIII is expected to bring $600 million to the New York/New Jersey region, says the NFL. But how much of that will stay in New Jersey, the host city, isn’t clear.

Hotels and homeowners on both sides of the Hudson River are trying to profit as football fans come to the region to attend the game at MetLife Stadium.

But with questionable weather and high ticket and airplane prices, Denver Bronco and Seattle Seahawk fans are slow to make purchases. There are plenty of seats available on the secondary retail market, and the average price is expected to drop.

Marty Schenker of Bloomberg News joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to explain.

Guest

  • Marty Schenker, executive editor of Top News for Bloomberg. He tweets @mschenker.
Copyright 2014 WBUR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wbur.org.

Transcript

JEREMY HOBSON, HOST:

This is HERE AND NOW from NPR and WBUR Boston. I'm Jeremy Hobson.

And we're just a little more than a week away from the Super Bowl, which this year is going to be held in what looks like it will be a freezing cold New York/New Jersey area. It is expected to attract about a half million visitors to the area and bring in more than a half billion dollars. But numbers like that sometimes sound a little better than they really are. And who's going to benefit from that?

Marty Schenker is executive news editor for Bloomberg. He's with us from New York. And let's be clear about this. The stadium is in New Jersey but just eight miles away from Midtown. And they say that the region is going to get $600 million because of the Super Bowl spending. But tell us about that number and how likely it is that that'll actually happen, where that money is going to come from.

MARTY SCHENKER: Well, you know, numbers like that are kind of speculative and no one - when you ask a local authority how much any event is going to bring in, they come out with a number because they are expected to. But I don't know that anybody really believes that. And I don't know that anybody has ever statistically figured it out.

HOBSON: And there are questions about where it's going to go because, of course, the stadium is in New Jersey. But there are so many attractions in New York. A lot of the events are going to be in New York. There are more hotels in New York. There are restaurants in New York. So who's going to get the money?

SCHENKER: That is absolutely true. And I think a bulk of the receipts are going to flow into New York. But one thing to remember is New York is going to be crowded whether there is a Super Bowl or not. So it's not so much that they're actually going to get extra money. It's just going to be there for the Super Bowl weekend.

HOBSON: Yeah. I saw one quote from an economist who says, you know, they do a great job of measuring how much extra money and how many extra people are going to be in a place because of an event like the Super Bowl. They don't do a very good job measuring how many people are going to leave because they don't want to be there.

SCHENKER: Absolutely. There are local businesses who are going to just be empty because people can't get to their venue, or they're going to go some place else.

HOBSON: What about ticket prices? We've heard that the Denver Bronco and Seattle Seahawk fans aren't exactly rushing to buy the tickets yet.

SCHENKER: That's pretty clear. The ticket sales so far are generally in the average range. And even the New York football fans who have this venue in their backyard aren't exactly clamoring to buy tickets.

HOBSON: What is average range mean?

SCHENKER: Well, the tickets right now as of January 20 are $327, and that's actually less than year's Super Bowl. And it's about middle of the road for Super Bowls in the past.

HOBSON: Meanwhile, hotel prices are just exorbitant in New York City. I see that the average is more than a thousand dollars for those days.

SCHENKER: Yeah. But a lot of people are searching closer to the stadium in New Jersey. And you can still find fairly reasonable hotel rates if you want to sit out in the barrens of the Meadowlands near the stadium.

(LAUGHTER)

HOBSON: Is that your opinion, Marty, the barren...

SCHENKER: That is absolutely my opinion, but I live in New Jersey so I feel I can say that.

HOBSON: You can say that. OK. And what about rentals of homes because a lot of people are putting their apartments up there for money.

SCHENKER: Absolutely. Bloomberg News had a story this morning exploring this issue. And many, many people are word of mouth hearing that people are renting their homes for $1,500 a night and putting their homes up.

HOBSON: Finally...

SCHENKER: One person is actually putting up their home for a $120,000 for the week.

HOBSON: Whoa. That's got to be a pretty nice home.

SCHENKER: It's a nice North Caldwell five-bedroom, maid service, French chef and good luck with that.

(LAUGHTER)

HOBSON: Which side of the Hudson River are we talking about?

SCHENKER: We're talking about the New Jersey side.

HOBSON: All right. Are you going to the Super Bowl?

SCHENKER: I'm going to be sitting in my living room without a renter.

(LAUGHTER)

HOBSON: OK. Marty Schenker, executive news editor for Bloomberg, thanks as always.

SCHENKER: OK.

HOBSON: This is HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.