SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A scathing legislative budget report faults San Francisco for failing to get reimbursed the full $4.8 million in tax money it plans to spend hosting nine days of Super Bowl 50 events.
San Francisco never signed a deal with the NFL or Super Bowl 50 Host Committee aside from its original bid to play host, while the city of Santa Clara, where the Super Bowl game takes place on Feb. 7, secured a deal to recover its full $3.6 million in expected costs.
San Francisco will host nine days of events starting Jan. 30, including a live performance by Alicia Keys on Feb. 6. The city expects 1 million visitors in those nine days.
But the only reimbursement San Francisco sought in its original bid was $307,000 in parks and fire department services. The mayor has ordered city departments to find an extra $4.37 million in surplus funds to cover the remainder.
Board of Supervisors member John Avalos, who requested the report, said it shows “the city got a bad deal” and that “it looks like the city gave (the NFL) a pass or failed miserably to negotiate the way Santa Clara was able to negotiate,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle.
The city will host three main events: Super Bowl City on the Embarcadero with large TV screens, interactive games and live entertainment; City Stage, a performance center with live acts; and NFL Experience Driven by Hyundai, a ticketed event run by the NFL at Moscone Center, featuring Super Bowl history displays, games and NFL merchandise.
Though the NFL announced in May 2013 that the Bay Area would host this year’s championship game, only two city departments – fire and emergency management – planned for Super Bowl-related costs in their fiscal 2016 budgets, according to the report.
The mayor’s office said it expects local tax revenue from the Super Bowl will offset those costs, but no study was done to analyze expected revenues compared to costs.
The NFL reported $9.2 billion in revenue in 2013, eclipsing San Francisco’s annual budget of $8.9 billion, according to the report.
In an emailed statement, the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee said San Francisco will benefit from hotel and sales tax revenue and rental income from the events on city property.
The city will get $490,000 in net revenue for renting the Port and Moscone Center for the Super Bowl events, the report estimates.
The committee also clarified why Santa Clara received more reimbursement money than San Francisco.
Because Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium was built with public money, local law bars the city from spending public dollars on certain game-day costs, according to the committee.
“The overall economic impact of the Super Bowl is expected to be in the
hundreds of millions,” the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee said in a statement. “Thus, both cities, as well as other cities around the region, stand to make millions of dollars – money that would not exist but for the Super Bowl – on these weeklong activities.”
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s office and Supervisor John Avalos did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment Monday afternoon.
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