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EconoMeter: Why play the Super Bowl in different cities?

Roger Showley, U-T SAN DIEGO

Friday, January 31, 2014

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Kelly Cunningham, National University System

Answer: YES

 The question is a good example of what economists call asymmetric incentives. From the NFL’s perspective, it makes complete sense to move the Super Bowl, as the league is able to play cities against one another to obtain subsidies for new stadiums and other concessions. For cities, the incentive cuts the other way. With many cities competing for one product (right to host the game) in very limited supply, cities spend lavishly (and often foolishly) to host the Big Game. For the game itself, it would make much more sense to rotate among San Diego and other warm weather cities.