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The Super Bowl: Big Game, Big Numbers

If the Super Bowl had a motto, it might be “go big or go home.”

Everything related to the game is over-the-top, glamorous and . . . you guessed it: expensive. From the tickets to the ads to the halftime show to the parties, we lose our collective minds when it comes to spending money on the Super Bowl.

So what is the going rate for some of the most popular Super Bowl related items?

The Tickets

Sometimes all the hype around the Super Bowl makes you forget that there’s actually a game. And if you want to go, you’re going to spend some cash—a lot of cash. As of press time, the cheapest ticket on one online vendor was going for nearly $2,500. And, if you want to go all out, you can get a 30-person suite for just shy of $900,000. And, no, that’s not a typo. The same online vendor has seven 30-person suites currently listed at more than half a million dollars! How much were the most expensive tickets to the first Super Bowl in 1967? $12.

The Ads

The average cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad in 2014 is $4 million. Think about that. If you invest $300 a month in a good growth stock mutual fund from age 25 to 65, you’ll have enough money for one 30 second Super Bowl ad. Now that’s quite a bit of pressure to have a good ROI.

The Hotels

Some rooms that normally run for $100 are going for as much as $1,000. Homeowners are even getting in on the act. Some New Jersey residents are offering rooms in their homes for as much as $1,800 a night.

The Halftime Show

Last year, nearly as many people tuned in for Beyoncé’s halftime show (104 million) as the game itself (108 million). So how much did she make for that performance? Nothing. Nada. Zero dollars. That’s because Super Bowl halftime performers don’t get paid. But this was no act of charity. Beyoncé might not have received a cash payment, but she got 12 minutes of exposure on a world stage that costs $4 million for a 30-second ad. If you think about it, that’s $96 million of free advertising. Bruno Mars will perform this year’s halftime show for “free.”

Super Bowl Snacks

It’s estimated that Americans spent more than $1 billion on food for their Super Bowl parties and events, including (according to Turbo Tax) $184 million on potato chips, $40 million on pretzels and, for the health conscious, $12 million on rice cakes. If Americans can do one thing well, it’s throw a big Super Bowl party.

The Winners

Besides worldwide fame, a big beautiful ring and the famous Lombardi trophy, Super Bowl winners also receive $88,000 for their victory. Not too bad for a day’s work.

The Losers

Don’t feel too bad for the Super Bowl’s losing team. Each player will receive $44,000 for getting knocked around by the winners. You could do worse—like spending $4 million on a 30 second ad that bombs.

The Local Economy

It’s currently estimated that this year’s game will have a $600 million dollar impact on New York City—and that’s a big deal, even for New York!

The Weather

Who knows how much of an economic impact the weather will actually have on the game, but the unique location has definitely given the elements a chance to take center stage. An outdoor game in New York City in January? The average historical high for February 2 in New York is 37 degrees, but a major winter storm recently dropped 12 inches of snow on the city just over a week before the game. Could we be watching a snowy Super Bowl this year?


Start budgeting with EveryDollar today!

So if you ever hear someone say, “The Super Bowl isn’t that big a deal,” then you have our permission to respond, “What planet are you living on?”

You might not like the Super Bowl. You might not even watch the game. But you can’t deny the financial impact. The amount of dollars that change hands during the week of the Super Bowl is unbelievable.

So will you be watching?

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Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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