Archive: 2011 June


Seattle and Super Bowl could be a good match in near future


As CEO of Visit Seattle the umbrella group representing hotels, restaurants and all things local tourism Norwalk knows about the numbers some say disqualify Seattle from Super Bowl consideration. Not enough hotel rooms, too little convention space, and a stadium that isn big enough are just a few hurdles thrown around by naysayers.

But Norwalk also knows about the problems here for this year Super Bowl, as the city of Glendale and the NFL have feuded publicly over the lack of hotel rooms set aside at league rates to prevent gouging.

Beyond having the numbers to land a Super Bowl, Norwalk realizes cooperation and accommodation literal and figurative are things the NFL undoubtedly will monitor.

something that can tarnish a city reputation certainly, and the whole experience very quickly, if it makes news, Norwalk said. think we would not have trouble at all generating commitments on those rooms. And I think the whole effort, before it even takes place, there has to be an underlying commitment and understanding about how pricing would be set by hotels based on historical numbers and some reality. It not a free for all. cheap jerseys NFL has Super Bowls booked through 2018 but is expected to soon start taking new bids. Norwalk said bidding on 2020 or later likely makes the most sense because construction on the waterfront tunnel project should be complete.

But Seattle is closer than ever to meeting the NFL numbers requirements for the big game, he adds. The Seahawks plan to boost seating capacity to about 69,500 next season, right around the 70,000 seat minimum a Super Bowl typically requires.

Norwalk said the 3,000 to 4,000 hotel rooms being added the next five years in Seattle, the Eastside and near Sea Tac Airport will take the total to the 25,000 the NFL would want. The NFL wants Super Bowl hotel rooms to equal 35 percent of stadium seating capacity and be within an hour drive of the game.

Also, a convention center expansion planned for nearly a decade should be finalized this year and add 300,000 to 400,000 square feet of space about a block north of the current venue. Throw in light rail expansion, which could hook up the downtown to the University of Washington and create more potential Super Bowl event space, and the city should boast numbers with which the NFL can work.

And it will have to.

year, they made it a violation of the agreement for taxis to drop people off at the stadium. So fans had to buy the overpriced NFL bus ticket just to get to the stadium. That the sort of thing where the NFL says, if you don do it there 30 other cities where we can put the game. NFL typically insists upon a set amount of hotel rooms at a fixed rate for employees, players families and fans. Arizona Super Bowl host committee had asked Glendale to join other communities in the Phoenix area in blocking off up to 20,000 rooms so visitors wouldn feel gouged.

When Glendale hotels were slow to respond, the league pulled its popular NFL Experience event and Super Bowl headquarters from that city and moved them to downtown Phoenix.

Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill has complained that Glendale was poor partner in Super Bowl planning. But Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers countered that his city is getting stuck with sky high Super Bowl security costs while other municipalities benefit from revenue generating events preceding the big game.

For all the NFL strong arming, economist Matheson warns that potential economic benefits of hosting the game often are overhyped by the league and local sports boosters. Despite claims that cities will see between $300 million and $500 million in gains from a Super Bowl, Matheson said his research shows it more like $30 million to $130 million.

that to the $50 million it costs to host one of these events now, and that not great, he said. could easily be spending a lot more in host funds than you could hope to get back. because a lot of the money generated by Super Bowls is simply displaced economic activity. Local fans spending money to attend Super Bowl events would be spending the same funds on other things if the game were someplace else.


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