In agreement with hosting Super Bowl LIV, the city of Miami was promised a free, public benefit concert on behalf of the Super Bowl Host Committee. But as Super Bowl Sunday looms, the project never panned out, turning off Florida locals.
The original plan came about in 2018 when the Miami Beach City Commission agreed to the Super Bowl Host Committee’s request for $1.5 million in taxpayer money for appropriate sponsorship and waived fees. Residents have now payed the price with seemingly nothing in return given that the Super Bowl concert never came to fruition.
“I think what happens when you have a big event like this, the NFL can take it wherever they can take it,” Miami Beach Commissioner David Richardson told the Miami Herald. “We have to decide as a community how much we’re willing to tolerate.”
Miami residents will still be subjected to a wide variety of entertainment leading up to the Super Bowl, with concerts featuring Lady Gaga, Lizzo, Harry Styles and Rob Gronkowski’s Gronk Beach festival all in the mix this weekend. However, the only freebie offered from the Host Committee is for kids’ admission into the NFL Experience expo at the Miami Convention Center. Adult admission has been waived 15 percent for locals.
Miami-Dade county has fronted $4 million in taxpayer contributions ahead of hosting the game, a quarter of which went towards accommodations for the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers organizations.
“These are basically things we have to do to get [the NFL] to come,” Miami Host Committee chairman Rodney Barreto told the Sun Sentinel. “If we’re not doing it, another city is.”
Regardless of the spending, city officials maintain that the necessary investments will pay off in the long run. “We have to look at this from an economic impact perspective,” Commissioner Ricky Arriola told the Miami Herald. “I think the investment directly pays for itself,” he told the publication, adding that the move was a “no brainer.”
A market analysis from the last time Miami hosted the Super Bowl in 2010 concluded that the city’s direct economic impact of hosting came in at just under $40 million. The report found that out-of-town visitors wound up spending an average of $947 per day to cover their meals, transportation, accommodations and other expenses – not to mention the rising cost of Super Bowl tickets.