NFL

Heathen Arizona Mayor Dares Besmirch All-Powerful NFL

Most politicians play along with the Super Bowl's crony economic propaganda-not the mayor of Glendale.

|

||| University of Phoenix Stadium/flickr

Every year, major city mayors tout the alleged economic benefits of hosting the Super Bowl, then use this wrongheaded argument to justify millions in tax breaks or subsidies for a multibillion-dollar sports league.

But Jerry Weiers, the mayor of Glendale, Arizona—the site of this year's Super Bowl—has a refreshingly honest take on the game's economic impact. "I totally believe we will lose money on this," he recently told ESPN The Magazine

This is not the first time Weiers has made waves for his honest thoughts on the Super Bowl. After publicly stating that Glendale likely lost over a million dollars when it last hosted the game, Super Bowl XLII, in 2008, Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill was furious, calling Weiers' statements "a bunch of malarkey." He also complained that "the city hall people have done nothing" to support the game (e.g., kiss the feet of National Football League [NFL] officials by mandating price ceilings on hotel rates, offering further tax breaks, or implementing other crony schemes).

Weiers' claims are backed by the data, however. Here is an excerpt from the ESPN story: 

A study funded by Arizona's Super Bowl committee found that visitors spent $218 million around the 2008 game, but some economists say the actual profits were much lower because football fans crowded out other tourists. Little of that money aids the city directly. Glendale said it spent $3.4 million in 2008, mostly on public safety, and earned only $1.2 million in taxes from direct spending at places like hotels and restaurants.

Much of the economic loss comes from the fact that Glendale has granted a 0 percent tax rate on ticket sales, so the city will not receive any revenue on one of the biggest economic portions of the event.

Arizona's losses are not uncommon: Economists have repeatedly found that hosting the Super Bowl has zero or negative economic effects for a city. And Glendale isn't the only place set to lose out on revenues from football's biggest game. The American Gaming Association estimates that $3.8 billion will be wagered on the game illegally, a number that dwarfs the estimated $100 million in bets at the only places in the country where people can make legal single-game sports bets: Nevada casinos.

NEXT: Steven Greenhut on Big Brother in Your Car

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. football fans crowded out other tourists

    No shit. This is the best time of year to come to AZ, and a shitload of people do. Even when there isn’t a Super Bowl!

    1. bullshit. no one EVER goes to arizona for anything. Quit lying.

      1. Chicagoans go there to retire and die, or for Spring training.

        1. yea, but are Chicagoans people…? really, I mean. people wouldn’t put up with cutler as a starting quarterback and the cubs as a mlb team. so they don’t count.

          1. but are Chicagoans people

            Wasn’t there a bill in Congress that essentially said they were people once they had lived somewhere else for 20 weeks?

            Or am I confusing this with something else?

            1. Chicagoans are 3/5ths people.

        2. Michiganers, Illinois . . ians?, pretty much everyone from that area, on their sweet union pensions topped up with Social Security, likes to come down here during the winter.

          Parts of this town are hell to drive in. You’d think people so close to death would be in a fucking hurry, but no . . .

      2. There are hordes and hordes of Californians who come here because they couldn’t get a job there. Then they attempt to recreate the same environment that resulted in them being unable to find employment in the first place.

      3. I live here in the Phoenix area and we see a large number of visitors and extended stay visitors every winter. Why? Because it’s blue skies, sunny and in the 60s! Great weather for golf, tennis, or just bumming around which so many folks do.

        Super Bowl is pushing some of these visitors to avoid the 7-10 days around the Super Bowl since hotel rooms, car rentals, and related items skyrocket for the big game. I saw the same thing in the early 90’s when I lived in Tampa and we had a Super Bowl there. Just major headaches for local residents with almost no chance to see the game at a decent price.

  2. He also complained that “the city hall people have done nothing” to support the game

    Agreeing to hosting the Super Bowl twice in 8 years — at a financial loss to the city’s general fund — is not enough?

  3. Glendale said it spent $3.4 million in 2008, mostly on public safety …. Much of the economic loss comes from the fact that Glendale has granted a 0 percent tax rate on ticket sales

    Well, I see at least two things that might help Glendale.

    1. I guarantee you that if they suggested even a 0.5 percent tax rate the NFL would shit a brick and say “We’ll take our game elsewhere.”

      What needs to happen is every city government needs to say the same damn thing.

  4. I for one don’t give a shit about whether the city government wins or loses money from hosting the Superb Owl. The real question is how the game effects local businesses and residents.

    1. FTA: A study funded by Arizona’s Super Bowl committee found that visitors spent $218 million around the 2008 game, but some economists say the actual profits were much lower because football fans crowded out other tourists.

    2. Hugh,

      If the city loses money, from whence do you see them making up the shortfall?

      /angry Glendale taxpayer

      1. The suckers who voted them into office I guess.

        lolololololol

    3. If I’m a resident covering the shortfall through additional taxes or loss of services, I’m not pleased.
      And, again, a heart-felt shout-out to those wonderful Boston taxpayers from a grateful SF taxpayer! I got tired of paying for Larry’s rubber-ducky show.

    4. If the city revenues from sales taxes are about $1.2 Million on expenses of $3.8 Million, then the city is in the hole and city businesses didn’t do very well either. One has to understand that Glendale doesn’t have a lot of businesses or hotels near the stadium to catch game attendee spending. There were plans to build up this area but the 2008 economic tumble blew those plans away and it has not recovered yet.

      Thus it’s unlikely that the city or Glendale businesses will see much better sales numbers this time around.

      PS. Jerry Weiers wasn’t city mayor when this stadium was approved by the city and he’s just trying to keep the city upright while paying the huge mortgage on this albatross the city has. I’m NOT surprised that he was his usual blunt self in this interview.

  5. Much of the economic loss comes from the fact that Glendale has granted a 0 percent tax rate on ticket sales, so the city will not receive any revenue on one of the biggest economic portions of the event.

    When the Colts were scamming Indianapolis for a new stadium, a seat tax was suggested (3 bucks, maybe). So people who actually, you know, USED the facility would be helping to pay for it. The NFL/Colts freaked out.

  6. Arizona’s losses are not uncommon: Economists have repeatedly found that hosting the Super Bowl has zero or negative economic effects for a city.

    should read

    Arizona’s losses are not uncommon: Economists have repeatedly found that hosting the Super Bowl has zero or negative economic effects for a city government.

    All the money spent in the city (and it is substantial) will benefit business owners in the city. And with AirBnB and the like many residents.

    1. I think it is well established that the influx of tourists for big events tends to displace the normal tourist flow while reducing the spending on the part of local residents, leading to the opposite of what you say, or at least a neutral outcome.

  7. Jacking up hotel and rental car taxes year round, on people who will never set foot in the stadium is fine, because they presumably don’t vote (locally).

  8. BallGhaziGate Update:

    Former quarterbacks, others who should know call Brady a lying sack of crap:

    http://nypost.com/2015/01/22/e…..elievable/

    Summary: No way does he not know the balls are underinflated. No way does an equipment manager do that without the QBs say-so. Oddly, Belichick’s ignorance is probably legit, as the head coach just doesn’t get involved in this little corner of the game.

    Disclaimer: Yeah, I hate the Pats. Always have. No reason.

    1. Jeeze, and here I thought Brady’s halo was elastic enough to cover a couple of footballs.

    2. Brady lied during the press conference. He said 12.5 psi felt like magic in his hands. OK, first of all, WTF? Magic in your hands? You pussy. Secondly, IF 12.5 psi felt perfect, then you would surely know when a ball had 10.5 psi. And if the former is perfect, then you would demand that ball once the drive started. By the second snap you should be asking for the perfect ball to be brought onto the field, you cum-guzzling gutter slut.

      It’s all very scientific.

      1. “At this point… what difference… does it make” to quote a pantsuit

    3. I don’t like the Pats either but I did want them to win the two Super Bowls against the Giants; the first one because I wanted an undefeated team so I would never have had to hear from Mercury Morris again, the second one because Brady was the anti-Tebow with the knocking up starlets and models and all, so I wanted to see his team win as a thumb in the eye of the Tebow lovers.

  9. No way does he not know the balls are underinflated.

    I still cannot believe the ref didn’t pick up on it.Even if you do it quietly, you have to get somebody from the league over there with the pressure gauge. Unless you’re in on it.

    1. Yeah, I don’t get this anymore.

      During my soccer playing days the balls were constantly asked to be checked by players and coaches. The referees would also consistently check them.

      And this wasn’t the friggin NFL with all its massive resources.

      1. …aaannnnd…

        I blame Bush and the Jews for this scandal.

        1. BILDERBURG GROUP!!!

  10. NFL, please wait for all the Massholes to travel to Arizona, then suspend Brady for the Super Bowl.

  11. Glendale said it spent $3.4 million in 2008, mostly on public safety, and earned only $1.2 million in taxes from direct spending at places like hotels and restaurants.

    We need to reevaluate how we use the word ‘earn’.

  12. So move the Super Bowl to a different city next time. I hear Boston would be glad to host it, and their city officials wouldn’t be allowed to speak against it. And the Patriots would be happy to prepare the hotel rooms and practice facilities for the NFC team, even down to the wiring, audio and video systems.

  13. my roomate’s aunt makes $82 /hour on the laptop . She has been fired from work for eight months but last month her income was $21833 just working on the laptop for a few hours. view it……
    ?????? http://www.netcash50.com

  14. But Jerry Weiers, the mayor of Glendale, Arizona?the site of this year’s Super Bowl?has a refreshingly honest take on the game’s economic impact. “I totally believe we will lose money on this,” he recently told ESPN The Magazine.

    Well, he should know. He and his cronies lured a *hockey* team to Glendale (hockey, for Christ’s sake, in a place where growing up the only ice you’ll see is in your freezer).

    http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyo…..tment.html

    But they don’t seem to have too much trouble tossing money to the NHL.

    1. He and his cronies lured a *hockey* team to Glendale

      Weiers wasn’t part of that; he voted against it but was overruled by the rest of the city council. He’s called for the state AG to investigate the meetings that led to the massive giveaways to the Coyotes for violation of state open meeting laws.

      http://www.azcentral.com/story…../12956523/

  15. The following facts come to mind re content of this article.

    1. There are however many hotel/motel rooms available at any given location.

    2. It they are all scooped up by a particular group of people, football fans for instance, that leaves none for other people.

    3. Two plus two are still four, aren’t they?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.