The National Football League no longer requires cities to bid for the Super Bowl. Instead the league has chosen to quietly seek out a city for the Big Game, ascertain interest and negotiate a deal to host the Super Bowl. The NFL is worried about the fallout from cities not landing its crown jewel event and the alleged $400 million of economic impact it has on an area. But there may be a bit more in the NFL’s way of selecting a city. Perhaps the NFL doesn’t want its Super Bowl demands leaked. The 2019 game was played in Atlanta in a stadium that may have gotten as much as $700 million in public subsidies and is owned by the state of Georgia. But the Atlanta Falcons ownership operates the stadium and the facility is not on the Atlanta property tax roll.
The National Football League did not pay rent using the stadium for the 2019 Super Bowl. Every cent generated inside the Atlanta venue went to the NFL. The Atlanta host committee allocated $2 million for certain NFL Super Bowl expenses. There was $1 million available to help out in the event of inclement weather. To make sure the NFL got the right message out, there was $375,000 for a party for 2,000 media members. The host committee made sure NFL owners had VIP private airport accommodations. Georgia also gave the NFL a present. A sales tax exemption on the sale of Super Bowl tickets which might have had a $10 million value. The host committee agreed reimburse the league and its teams for state or local Super Bowl-related taxes. That cost? About $2 million. Atlanta bought the game for $46 million with mostly public funds. NFL hired economists always tout the Super Bowl’s economic impact but the claim is never proven and politicians always fall for promise.