The Minneapolis Star-Tribune today (June 9) published the confidential wish list that the National Football League (NFL) demands of a Super Bowl host. Minneapolis will host the game in 2018. The requirements are detailed in a 153-page NFL document that up to now has been secret.
Among many other things, the NFL demands that the host city provide free police escorts for team owners and 35,000 free parking spaces. The league wants free presidential suites at high-end hotels. The league wants guarantees to receive all revenue from ticket sales and wants NFL-preferred ATMs at the stadium.
The league requests free access to top-quality golf courses during the summer or fall before the game. It wants free curbside parking at a so-called "NFL House," which is defined as a "high-end, exclusive drop-in hospitality facility for our most valued and influential guests to meet, unwind, network, and conduct business."
The hotels where the teams stay are required to televise NFL Network for a year before the game — at no cost to the league, of course. The league requires that government licensing fees be waived for as many as 450 courtesy cars and buses, according to the Star-Tribune. The league wants at least 20 free billboards to promote the game. The host city will pay all travel and expenses for a "familiarization trip" for 180 people to come to the city in advance of the game. The NFL asks that if cell-phone signal strength at team hotels are not strong enough, then at no cost to the league, the host city will be responsible for erecting portable cellular towers.
The league wants — for free — two top-quality bowling venues to be reserved for the Super Bowl Celebrity Bowling Classic. The league demands at least 20 color pages of free space in the leading daily newspaper to promote the game. It also wants four weeks of free promotion on at least six local radio stations, adding up to at least 250 ads.
The newspaper doesn't mention this, but the National Football League claims that the host Super Bowl city can reap anywhere from a $400 million to $600 million windfall. However, objective economists say the take is about $35 million, and some say the host city actually loses money on the game. If you study the free services the league demands, you can see why the host city can easily lose money on the game.