City’s final tab for hosting Super Bowl: $1 million

The city’s final tab to host the Super Bowl in February came to $1 million, tourism leaders said Monday afternoon.

That’s $200,000 more than originally budgeted by the Capital Improvement Board of Managers of Marion County, the entity that operates Lucas Oil Stadium and the city's other downtown sports venues.

But CIB and city tourism leaders said on Monday that the money was well spent considering the game could translate to $300 million in direct visitor spending over the next several years.

“There’s no question in my mind that the Super Bowl generated interest in Indianapolis,” said Leonard Hoops, CEO of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association.

The Super Bowl accounted for about $100 million in spending, with another $200 million expected from the additional interest in room-night bookings that could result from the game.

In the first quarter of 2012, the ICVA logged interest in 998,000 room nights for future conventions, a whopping 156-percent increase from the same time last year. If the city wins enough conventions over the next 10 years to fill a third of those room nights, it should capture the additional $300 million in visitor spending, Hoops said.

Associations typically book conventions years in advance and consider several cities when exploring their options.

“To spend a million dollars on the branding of the city is a pretty good return on investment,” CIB President Ann Lathrop said. “I would say it again, it was well worth it.”

The city spent a total of $6.6 million to host the Super Bowl, including roughly $3.5 for police protection and another $350,000 on insurance, legal fees and snow removal equipment that the National Football League did not reimburse it for. The city's Department of Public Safety originally had billed the city $3.9 million but lowered the amount after choosing to keep vehicles purchased for the game.

The CIB, though, received nearly $2.9 million for its share of hotel and food and beverage taxes, in addition to auto rental taxes, from the influx of visitors, bringing its total bill to $1 million.

Food and beverage taxes exceeded CIB projections by $240,100, but hotel taxes fell short by $494,800.

The $1 million cost to host the Super Bowl should have little impact on the CIB’s annual operating budget of $100 million, Lathrop said.

Her advice to any city considering hosting the game: “I would absolutely say that you should do it,” she said.

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