Super Bowl XLVIII expected to bring $600M to local economy

Large signs advertising the Super Bowl are seen

Large signs advertising the Super Bowl are seen in Times Square ahead of MetLife Stadium hosting Super Bowl XLVIII. (Jan. 20, 2014) (Credit: AP)

The Super Bowl is coming, and like just about everything associated with New York City, it's going to be bigger, bolder and more complex than anything like it anywhere else.

The National Football League's first cold-weather, outdoor Super Bowl -- matching the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks -- will place a spotlight on New York City and MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., making it perhaps the highest-profile Super Bowl in the event's 47-year history.

The game and associated activities are predicted to attract 500,000 people to New York and New Jersey -- more than three times the number drawn to New Orleans for last year's Super Bowl.

The event is also one of the first big tests for New York City's new mayor, Bill de Blasio, who called the success of the event "hugely important" for the city.

"It's going to be great for New York City," de Blasio said. "But it's also wonderful that this commitment was made to the city and to the tri-state area."

The NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee reported that holding the game in the New York City area will pump as much as $600 million into the local economy, outpacing the $480 million last year's Super Bowl brought to New Orleans, and more than double Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's estimate of $250 million for the 2012 game.

The game and the lead-up week of private parties and public events in the most populous area of the country also brings heavier security and potentially nightmarish traffic. Security at this year's game will include deployment of nearly 4,000 police and private security officers and airport-style screening for those entering MetLife Stadium.

The Super Bowl also has created a seller's market for lodging, with some hotels charging $1,000 per night for rooms that normally rent for $100. Some northern New Jersey residents are offering rooms to rent in their homes, as reflected in a Craigslist advertisement for a room in a Belleville, N.J., home for $1,800 per night.

The rush on rooms hasn't reached into Long Island, said Mike Johnston, president of the Long Island Hospitality & Leisure Association.

"Manhattan will do very well; hotels around Meadowlands will do well," Johnston said. "There hasn't been any big blocks on Long Island because of the Super Bowl."

The overall economic impact on Long Island is likely to be minimal, said R. Moke McGowan, president of the Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau, pointing to the fact that the game is a cold-weather event while most of Long Island's biggest tourist attractions such as beaches and wineries are outdoors.

McGowan provided Super Bowl organizers and state tourism officials with information about Long Island attractions, but said he doesn't expect to see a boost.

"For us, it's an incredibly slow time of the year," McGowan said. "We're not the kind of resort location where you have a lot of pre- or postgame activity in the winter."

That hasn't stopped Hawthorne Global Aviation from offering helicopter shuttle service from Long Island MacArthur Airport to New York City and Teterboro, N.J., for the Super Bowl.

"Our team is ready to welcome business aviation travelers," general manager Rob Sherry said in a statement.

This year's big game, like all Super Bowls, comes with ancillary events, the highlights of which are Super Bowl Boulevard, a fan zone along Manhattan's Broadway from 34th to 47th streets, and a cruise ship docked in the Hudson River.

Time Warner Cable is taking over a 45,000-square-foot space on West 14th Street from Jan. 27 to Feb. 1 for a pop-up "entertainment experience" that promises everything from an opportunity to play with "Game of Thrones" props to a behind-the-scenes look at ESPN's "SportsCenter."

But in the end, the game is the thing, said Kristen Bothwell, a spokeswoman for the host committee, and "Super Bowl XLVIII is expected to be an economic boom for the region."

-- With Emily Ngo

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