Super Bucks

Witnessing the birth of my children was a cherished event, one that I wouldn’t trade for anything. According to a survey last week 15% of people don’t agree with me. They would exchange hearing the first cry of their child for a chance to see the Super Bowl.
The yelling, the screaming and the crying might be a bit much for some, but once I calmed down my wife appreciated having me there, I think.
What kind of monster has this game become? 20% of people surveyed said they would miss a one time event, such as the funeral of a close relative. Knowing that we were above such an addiction, I shared my contempt with my wife.
“People die every day, going to the Super Bowl is a once in a lifetime chance.” she replied with little thought or feeling, adding, “if you could have figured out how to handle the child birth thing without me, I would have been OK with that to.”
Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge football fan and can’t remember missing a Super Bowl in my adult life, but I could live with out it… maybe.
Could the NFL have developed such a slick product that we didn’t even notice as it turned it’s premier game into a national holiday? The numbers are there, this year an estimated 111 million will tune in, many of those viewers will take Monday off as a holiday or more so to recover. The NFL has also grown the game into an enormous cash cow as well, with revenues that become more staggering each year.
The first Super Bowl game was played in 1967. The average ticket cost $12.00. Now that has multiplied by 265% to an average of $3,000.00. Just last week a ticket on the Giants 40 yard line sold for $16,480.00. More than a years worth of house payments for a lot of us. If that isn’t rich enough for your blood, they also have a few field level suites available for a little over $600,000.00 a piece. Just for hosting the game Indianapolis expects $150 million in revenue, not to shabby.
We all know that isn’t the big money though. Advertising has almost become as popular as the game itself. In 1967 you could buy a 30 second add for $37,500.00. Today the same spot is $3.5 million. That means if you make $30,000 a year and saved every penny, you could buy a 30 second add in about 116 years, excluding interest of course. Total commercial sales for the 2011 Super Bowl tallied $336,000,000.00, cha-ching.
That is just what they spent trying to get our next purchases. The real money is made on what we spend collectively as a nation for parties and gatherings centered around the most Super of Bowls. According to the National Retail Federation the average per viewer spend in 2011 was $59.33. That includes $49.3 million in beer sales and 177 million pounds of snacks totaling $1.02 billion. Estimated total spending for the big day is $10.1 billion. That kind of money would make Warren Buffett jealous.
Monster or not, that sales growth is impressive. Maybe congress should ask the leaders of the NFL to branch out and see if they can repeat the magic in another arena. First they could try running Detroit, if they fix that city, we give them a state.
As for any free tickets you come across, the odds of my wife and I having another kid are slight, but we might consider missing a grand kids big day at some point in the future. Just a thought.

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