NFL Extends Its Winning Streak on Tax Breaks

By:  Jack Kenny
NFL Extends Its Winning Streak on Tax Breaks

The Seattle Seahawks trounced the Denver Broncos in pro football's ultimate game, but the National Football League extended its winning streak through Super Bowl XLVIII with an equally convincing array of tax breaks from the state of New Jersey, the Star-Ledger reported.

As part of its winning bid to land the big game at East Rutherford's MetLife Stadium, the state agreed to waive the usual taxes on tickets sales and parking revenue amounting to $8 million, according to state officials. The state will also pay the tab for all of the security costs related to the big game, including the presence of 700 state troopers and hundreds of overtime hours, the Newark-based daily reported. Ticket prices for Sunday's game ranged from $500 to $2,500 for club seats. The NFL received half of the stadium's 218 luxury box tickets, which sold for $400,000 each. The league also collected the tax-free revenue for stadium parking for the big game at $150 per space.

The requirements are the same for any locale seeking to bring the nation's most celebrated sports spectacle to its home turf. According to the bidding requirements cited by the Star-Ledger, the NFL requires that all revenue from the Super Bowl and related events "be exempt from sales, amusement, or entertainment taxes, and other surcharge obligations." The host community and state are expected to benefit from the influx of fans from around the country who come to the game, eat at local restaurants, stay at hotels, and otherwise generate a windfall of taxable economic activity away from the game itself. That may be less of an advantage to New Jersey than it has been at other Super Bowl sites, however, since MetLife Stadium is but a 13-mile drive from the city of New York, where many of the fans were staying. The dollar impact on the New Jersey economy remains unknown.

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