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PwC’s Super Bowl Forecast Goes Deep

By Rob Starr, Content Manager.

 The San Francisco Bay Area Is anticipating  Super Bowl 50 will generate over $220 million in direct spending according to PwC’s  annual Super Bowl forecast. National Football League (NFL) businesses, visitors, and media are to spend the money on area lodging, transportation, food and beverages, entertainment, business services, and other hospitality and tourism activities related to the event. Adam Jones, Director, Sports and Tourism Sector, PwC US, quarterbacked some written responses to our questions.

  • Can you supply a quick overview of how PwC came up with its Super Bowl forecast?
      • This is the tenth year PwC has released a Super Bowl forecast looking at the direct spend that the Super Bowl brings to the host community.  The estimate is based on a proprietary analysis that considers characteristics unique to this year’s event, such as the participating teams, attributes of the Bay Area, national economic conditions, and scheduled corporate and other ancillary activities.  PwC has been analyzing economic issues within the sports and tourism sectors for more than two decades.  The proprietary analysis, which informs our annual Super Bowl briefing, is based on past research related to Super Bowl spending patterns, including surveys and interviews with event organizers, visitors, and local businesses.  Our models are adjusted each year to consider host market attributes and situational factors.
  • The following chart illustrates the estimated direct spending associated with the event, dating back to Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego in 2003, the last Super Bowl hosted in California.


  • What factors are working in the Bay Area’s favor?
    • The high-water mark forecasted for this year’s Super Bowl is the result of a perfect storm of events, if you will. In addition to the Bay Area’s core destination offerings, hubs of Super Bowl programming located throughout the Bay Area as well as local businesses who traditionally activate events around the game will provide visitors with a bevy of activities to participate in throughout the week leading up to the game.  Although the Pro Bowl is rotating back to Hawaii, Super Bowl City will open earlier than in years past to coincide with the NFL Experience, and Media Day will be held a day earlier, all of which will expand the average length of stay and overall impact.
  • What’s behind the direct spend level forecast being so high?
  • The 50th edition of the Super Bowl marks the return of the event to the west coast’s Bay Area for the first time in the modern era and to California – which is hosting its 12th game
    Adam Jones

    Adam Jones

    including the inaugural event in 1967 – after a 12 year absence.  The return to California, specifically the San Francisco Bay Area, will allow regular attendees of the Super Bowl to experience fresh sights and attractions; yielding a level of direct spend which, when combined with relative destination costs, should continue the upward trend that started following Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis in 2012.

  • What is the multiplier effect and why is it excluded from the research?
    • The multiplier accounts for “indirect” impacts, such as a concession company’s purchase of goods from local producers and manufacturers, and “induced” impacts, which occur when the income levels of residents rise as a result of increased economic activity and a portion of the increased income is re-spent within the local economy.
    • Multiplier research readily available for consideration of the indirect and induced effects of direct spend is based on normal activity within a given market’s economy.  Such normal market activity is generally not representative of Super Bowl conditions given the event’s scale and compressed period of impact.  Rather than adjust to reflect Super Bowl conditions, such effects are not considered and the analysis informing the PwC briefing on the Super Bowl is limited to direct spend levels.
  • How does this year’s Super bowl forecast stack up against others?
      • This year is estimated to have the highest level of direct visitor spending since PwC began offering this forecast.
  • The Bay Area, like New York/New Jersey which hosted Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014, is home to a high concentration of businesses that activate events and activities around the Super Bowl. With the game in the Bay Area, the local economy will retain dollars that would otherwise be exported to other cities, resulting in what is projected to be the event’s highest direct spend level, on a nominal basis, and the second largest inflation-adjusted output next to Super Bowl XLI in South Florida in 2007.


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