NFL Sells a Pig in a Poke to Host Cities
This is Super Bowl week in Phoenix. It has been a big party and a big circus. I have not attended any activities. Why? Other than the free party downtown where there is no parking, it is too expensive.
Game tickets are outrageous. Regular fans have no chance. Right now, four days before the game, in Phoenix, the going price for a ticket in the very back row of University of Phoenix Stadium ( a seat which is about two blocks away and 120 feet up) is $4000! That is five months of my mortgage payment, or one month of my retirement. If I want to park near the stadium, I will have to pay one month’s car payment. A hot dog and a drink of my choice at the game will be about 1–2 hours work depending on if I get a minimum wage job (2 hours) or a wage above that.
It boils down to who is this game for, the fans or the NFL?
The NFL asks cities to “Bid” on having the game. This means, the cities tell the reigning football monopoly how much money they are going to pay IT to have the priviledge of hosting the game and the activities accompanying the contest. This would be like me asking my friends to tell me how they are going to celebrate my birthday and telling them that they have to let know what is going to happen and how much it is going to cost them and what they are going to give me years in advance. I have the say over who attends and can pull the plug on the party if anything happens that I don’t approve of.
The surrounding cities have to pay millions extra from their budgets for the game to be in the locality. The NFL has sold them a pig in a poke about tax dollars and how much money they will make. The deal is sweet for the NFL, as they get a portion of the taxes, too!
The NFL sells the game and the surrounding week to cities as a time they can showcase their region, city, state, etc. So, to answer the question…
The game is for the NFL. It is a big marketing tool for which Americans have fallen. We propagate the myth, support the salaries and tolerate the inane antics of some of the players for our entertainment purpose. I hate that my tax dollars are going to support this event.
It’s a good thing I like pork.