The NFL recently awarded the rights to host the 2016 Super Bowl to the San Francisco Bay Area. Hosting the Super Bowl is generally a huge revenue windfall for an area. Tens of thousands of visitors come from out of town and stay at hotels, eat at restaurants, and generally support the tourism economy.
These visitors spend a lot of money and therefore cities really try to attract them. The San Francisco committee even loaded their bid for the Super Bowl on iPad Minis that they sent to all the NFL team owners instead of the typical 3-ring binder. (How come the mega-tycoons are always the ones getting free iPads anyways? What about us!)
But what if the 2016 Super Bowl turns into a home game for the local football team, the San Francisco 49ers? Typically fans from both teams need to travel to the game, which generates tourism dollars for the city. If the 49ers make the Superbowl in 2016, none of their fans will need hotels and places to eat because they’ll sleep in their own beds and cook in their own kitchens. Heck, even if the lowly Oakland Raiders make the Super Bowl, the same issue would arise.
So, if the San Francisco 49ers make it to the big game in 2016, the city might be ecstatic but financially worse off than if a visiting team were playing instead. Still, the cold-hearted number-crunchers at Priceonomics will be rooting for the 49ers.