Back in February when New York and New Jersey played host to Super Bowl XLVIII, I wrote about the economic projections that typically go into making the case for hosting these events: They are notoriously overgenerous in estimating how much they can stimulate an economy, and it’s not even clear where the estimate of the supposed economic benefits of the New York Super Bowl — $600 million — came from. They also don’t take into account all the costs: Traffic, public-safety overtime, etc.
So yes, it’s possible to stimulate an economy, but especially in a place like New York, where tourism is already strong and the transportation infrastructure is already overworked, take the under.
And lo, New Jersey Transit announced today that it lost a whopping $5.6 million on services provided for the Super Bowl. I’m not holding my breath to see if New York and New Jersey tourist authorities produce an after-the-fact estimate of net economic benefits, or just economic stimulus, period (although other cities have done so in the past). But this is a bit of evidence that if there were a wonk casino, Agenda readers would be winners.
The event cost the transit system a gross $7.2 million, while they made $1.6 million in advertising and ticket sales. The extra costs, presumably, come from providing extra security personnel and all the extra transit services that had to be run.
Even that wasn’t enough to handle the situation. This is what $5.6 million in public-sector overtime bought you: