It is the most obscene and outrageous display one can imagine. American cities dumping tens of millions of dollars into the payment of bribes to 32 billionaire owners of NFL teams for the right to host a single football game that the average person could never afford to attend. Corporate leaders in Minnesota, not to be outdone by their counterparts in Indianapolis, shipped off their 180-page bid proposal for hosting the 2018 Super Bowl on iPads donated by Best Buy as if the nation's wealthiest men didn't already own any number of electronic devices upon which they could view the city's homegrown version of "Let's Make A Deal." Local committee members boasted to the media that their bid would "blow the minds of NFL owners," if not their state and local government budgets. From the Minneapolis Star:
“The most important part of the bid is to believe it will change the future of this community by hosting something this big,” Davis said, adding that boosters see the game as an important event for attracting a workforce, keeping young people in Minnesota and positioning the region for the next generation.
He was joined by his fellow gubernatorially selected steering committee chairs, Marilyn Carlson Nelson of Carlson Cos. and CEO Doug Baker, to discuss the 180-page submission. Davis immediately averred that he would not discuss themes of the bid or “secret weapons” in the campaign to beat out Indianapolis and New Orleans for the game.
On May 20, two of the committee chairs will make a brief presentation to NFL owners in a closed-door conference room at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood. Then they will wait outside the room while the NFL owners decide among the cities.Corporate leaders in Minneapolis tell reporters that they've already raised 85% of the $30 to $40 million local organizers estimate they will need to host the event. Where do they come up with these numbers? Does a local community underwrite 100% of the cost of hosting a single game from which the nation's most wealthy citizens make hundreds of millions of dollars? "This thing is done," said U.S. Bankcorp's president and CEO Richard Davis. Of course, the centerpiece of Minnesota's bid is the $1 billion stadium now under construction at the site of the former Humphrey Metrodome built in 1982 and demolished last year to make room for the new stadium. Davis beamed that the economic benefits from hosting the Super Bowl would be at least $350 million. "Skeptics say the number overestimates the benefits but Davis and the others state the benefits as fact, leaving no room for doubt," the Minneapolis Star reported. The actual fact is that cities invest far more money for the right to host a Super Bowl than they ever derive in economic benefit, but these racketeers are trained liars who won't be told otherwise and who in the media will question them when the media folks have an equally vested interest in spreading the lies. Davis also assured reporters that the tax breaks offered to the NFL as part of the bid proposal would be a fraction of the tax revenues state and local officials would derive from hosting the event--yet another demonstrably false assertion.
Meanwhile, New Orleans, which has hosted 10 Super Bowls, says it is making upgrades to its state-owned Superdome, adding new streetcar lines and constructing new public spaces, including a riverfront park. There's no mention of $30 to $40 million in corporate money being raised by the local organizing committee as is being done in Indianapolis and Minneapolis. The New Orleans Times-Picayune doesn't omit the transgressions of the man who will pitch Indianapolis' bid, Colts' owner Jim Irsay, in its reporting as did the Indianapolis media. "Irsay has been undergoing treatment since March when he was arrested near his home in an Indianapolis suburb," the newspaper writes. "The arrest report said he had $29,000 in cash and bottles of prescription drugs in his car."