Debating the economic benefits to cities and countries that host major sporting events like the World Cup or the Olympics is nothing new. New facilities are built, billions of dollars are spent hosting the event, and some years, people are even displaced from their homes.
That conversation traditionally hasn't extended to more domestic events like the Super Bowl, however, because the stadiums are in place and the event is simply a one-day affair. But now, Glendale mayor Jerry Weiers has suggested Super Bowl XLIX may not be such an economic boon for the area.
"I totally believe we will lose money on this," he told Mina Kimes of ESPN The Magazine, adding, "This Super Bowl was promised before I became mayor. There wasn't any backing out."
Per Kimes' report, Weiers projected the city would lose more than $3 million hosting the Super Bowl, and a bill that would have helped the city receive reimbursement from the state didn't make it through the Senate. Weiers also claimed that Glendale lost over $1 million when the city hosted Super Bowl XLII in 2008.
Arizona Cardinals' owner Michael Bidwill has staunchly refuted Weiers' claims.
"Recently, they've been telling people that they lost money on the Super Bowl, which is a bunch of malarkey," he told Bob McClay of KTAR News back in September. "They were telling people after that Super Bowl that they made a lot of money, and that they had about $13 million worth of media exposure to the city of Glendale."
It isn't surprising that Bidwill would be perturbed with Weiers. He surely wants the Cardinals' facility to host the NFL's biggest game in years to come.
It sounds as though Weiers won't be keen to allow that to happen, however. When his bill failed to pass in April, he questioned how the city could afford to host the Super Bowl in the future.
In other words, the battle between the NFL, Bidwill and Weiers might just be heating up.