Supposed Economy Boosting Super Bowl Seeking Volunteers for 2018 Event

Cities contend to hold sports championship games to boost their economies. However, Minnesota’s 2018 Super Bowl seems to benefit everyone but Minnesota citizens.

southwest light rail, light rail
Light Rail stops for passengers near U.S Bank Stadium. (Preya Samsundar/Alpha News)

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota built U.S. Bank Stadium for two reasons. The Vikings threatened to leave the State if they did not get a new stadium and the promise of a Super Bowl in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Cities who host the Super Bowl typically see a huge economic boost. In 2015, Arizona saw a gross economic impact of $719.4 million according to a study conducted by Arizona State University. The city of Phoenix and State of Arizona spent approximately $30 million to host the game. In 2017, Houston spent $5.5 million to host the Super Bowl, but Mayor Sylvester Turner estimates the city will see a gross economic impact of $350 million, according to KHOU.

A confidential document with demands from the NFL, obtained by the Star Tribune in 2014, suggests Minnesotans could spend tens of millions in hosting the game. Super Bowl attendees are projected to spend anywhere between $200 million to $800 million while attending the event in Minneapolis. A final cost is not yet available.

While the NFL league office gave up its tax-exempt status in 2015, the NFL as an entity was projected to rake in more than $13 billion in 2016, according to Forbes.

However, state lawmakers in St. Paul are looking at giving Super Bowl organizers a tax break to the tune of $2.5 million dollars. No sales tax would be collected as a result of this tax break. According to KSTP, Houston gave the NFL $30 million in government subsidies.

However, don’t expect the State’s windfall in economic growth due to the Super Bowl to trickle down to Minnesota residents.

According to a report by the Star Tribune, the Minnesota Host Committee for Super Bowl 2018 is seeking 10,000 people to volunteer their time to make the 10-day Super Bowl event a success.

Elle Kehoe, volunteer director for the host committee told the Star Tribune, “Volunteers are required to work three shifts of four to six hours in the days leading up to the game. We have shifts in the morning, at night and on the weekend so we can accommodate people even if they have full-time jobs and are coming from greater Minnesota.”

Minnesota’s minimum wage currently stands at $7.75/hour. Over the course of 10 days, volunteers will be required to work approximately 12-18 hours. Volunteers will provide anywhere between 120,000 to 180,000 in total man hours of work during the event. By seeking volunteers instead of paid workers, the committee could be saving anywhere from $930,000 – $1,395,000.

The Minnesota Host Committee did not return a request for comment in time for publication.

Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.