BY THE NUMBERS: Will Super Bowl really bring an economic boost? - KMSP-TV

BY THE NUMBERS: Will Super Bowl really bring an economic boost?

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

The governor and other state and city officials are praising the NFL for selecting Minneapolis to host the Super Bowl in 2018 because they say it'll bring a big boost to the local economy -- but how sure are those numbers?

"We aren't exactly sure until the event is held, but the one thing we do know -- it will be significant," Michelle Kelm-Helgen, head of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. "It will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars."

Truthfully, it's a "guess-timate" at best -- and the Twin Cities has been down this road before only to find it came up short. The Republican National Convention was expected to bring some impressive economic perks, but its impact wasn't as big as expected.

Even among Super Bowl cities, the impact varies widely. While the euphoria is still real for many fans looking forward to seeing the excitement of the game in their hometown, the forecasted business boom may never be.

The predicted economic impact of Super Bowl games is all over the chart. In 2011, Dallas saw estimates of $500,000 million but Indianapolis saw $324 million the following year. New Orleans estimated $480 million in 2013, and New Jersey tallied up to $600 million last year.

Yet, an analysis conducted by the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) provides far more conservative numbers. In a 10-year retrospective, analysts found the lowest economic impact was seen in Detroit in 2006 with just $118 million, and the high was this year's New Jersey game at $210 million.

Perhaps the better question is not how much money the Twin Cities could make, but how much the local economy could lose?

Organizers say that scenario is unlikely since Twin Cities businesses have already put up more than $30 million in pledges to get the big game off the ground. Much like the stadium construction that is currently underway, so too is the Super Bowl planning.

"Venues for special events -- that all needs to be nailed down," Melvin Tennant, CEO of Meet Minneapolis, said. "Volunteer committees need to be put in place. Lots and lots of things are already underway, so there's really no rest for the weary."

All for a game that is still more than 3 years away, which is why no one is counting the receipts just yet; however, there are intangible benefits. The NFL estimates 4,000 media outlets will descend upon the Twin Cities, and they will generate more than a billion media impressions. The host committee will work to make sure they're mostly positive.

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