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Sanity Zone 2-1-2014 Is New York Shining a Light on the Obvious?

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Posted 02-01-2014 at 11:18 AM by xan

I've noted a few articles on the distinct lack of enthusiasm and participation, both locally and nationally, for the physical presence of the "spectacular" of the Super Bowl. The complaint is that the series of continuous and parallel activities are not well attended, which is an understatement. I don't think it's for the reasons the national pundits believe.

First, as we in the Great Universal Domain of New Orleans know, the NFL's Super Bowl (TM) is a prepackaged, self contained organization. It negotiates a negation of authority by the local governing organization and controls every detail. It promises a huge influx of consumption, but in reality, nothing of the sort happens. New Orleans learned long ago that there is no 'partnership' between the local businesses and the NFL. The NFL does everything in its power to keep the attender at the NFL sanctioned and controlled events.

Because of the covetous nature of the NFL at this event, local businesses are alienated from the event. The businesses have no economic justification for outlaying many thousands of dollars to have the right to use NFL or Super Bowl trademarks. The NFL creates dozens of retail experiences on the site and at controlled access areas outside the site that crowd out participation by the local business. In essence, the NFL wants to capture any dollar spent that is even tangent to their event.

You can't blame the NFL. They have to make money. It's entertainment and it's theirs and they only do this once a year. But the NFL can't be surprised that local businesses aren't enthusiastic or that residents don't participate. High prices, limited access, preference to "ticket holders" and VIPs are very discouraging to locals who have been looking forward for many years to have the experience of the event even if they can't get a ticket.

The NFL's policy of not leaving any dollar on the table (zero sum game) often leaves communities worse off. Promised economic impact almost never materializes. For New Orleans, it's nice to have the Super Bowl, but we don't need an event like this to promote the city. It's famous enough on merit. Same with New York - if you can't envision the value, you're probably a paranoid militant anarchist. But for towns like those in north Jersey, which never will be destinations and no amount of advertising or incentives will change that, the value of hosting the Super Bowl is just not there.

This summer, my town will be hosting the National Special Olympics. Just like the NFL, it is an entirely self contained organization. We just are not set up as a destination. Our infrastructure just barely accommodates the local enterprise and residents. Dumping 70,000 people for 3 weeks on us is going to cause us more problems than we realize. And further, the SO has the same operating protocol as the NFL, demanding cut rates and rebates and freebees just for the privilege of hosting.

I suspect that eventually, all those business leaders who think that hosting a big event like the Super Bowl will wake up to the reality that ego is the only reason to do so. Which is why the Super Bowl is in New York (New Jersey) to begin with.
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  1. Old Comment
    TheOak's Avatar
    This is what happens when you host the Super Bowl and its festivities in separate states and cities.

    Historically they have not been hosted on anyone's home field so there is a small disconnect between the game and that cities fans who love another team. Hosting the game and festivities in separate cities and states creates a further disconnect.

    Goodell tried to do the city of New York a favor... after all that is there the NFl's corporate office is. I will assume there were under the table discussions between himself and the cities chief politicians. I can not for any other reason logically understand why they had it the way they did.
    Posted 02-03-2014 at 07:30 AM by TheOak TheOak is offline

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