The most expensive stadium in the U.S. drew the Super Bowl to the New York area for the first time. Wall Street is making it happen.
The National Football League’s championship is a home game for the shapers of the nation’s economy, with 11 of 29 host sponsors coming from the financial services industry. The event is costing $70 million to stage, as much as five times last year’s in New Orleans, and companies with revenue of $339 billion last year are paying a big part of the bill.
“Every city is different than New York, really,” said Jay Cicero, head of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, who led the host committee for last year’s game. “In general, a host committee in any city is going to rely on the local business community.”
In New York, the local sponsors read like an Ivy League junior’s internship applications: JPMorgan Chase & Co.; the New York Stock Exchange’s parent IntercontinentalExchange Group Inc.; Goldman Sachs Group Inc.; Morgan Stanley; Citigroup Inc.; BlackRock Inc.; and Bank of America Corp.
Private companies including SAC Capital Advisors LP also helped fund the organizing committee, whose expenses include Super Bowl Boulevard, the 13-block football-themed street festival on Broadway that will operate until the day before the Feb. 2 title game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.
Al Kelly, chief executive officer of the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, said the financial services industry was among the earliest and most enthusiastic backers of the region’s bid to host the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather city. League owners awarded the game to MetLife Stadium in May 2010, four months before the $1.6 billion stadium even hosted its first NFL regular-season game.
“New York is the capital of a lot of things, the capital of commerce and investment,” said Brian Rolapp, executive vice president of NFL media. “That was one of the attractive parts of putting it here.”
In return for their money, the host sponsors received a vice-chairman spot on the committee for an executive to help plan the event, along with one of the more than 200 luxury suites at MetLife Stadium for the game.