By: Samuel Martinez
With NY/NJ putting the finishing touches on hosting Super Bowl XLVIII questions regarding weather, transportation and security were frequent topics at yesterday’s forum “48 Hours Before Super Bowl XLVIII: The Lasting Impact of Sports’ Greatest Events that took place at NYU.
Another important factor is the economic impact, which host cities benefit from having these types of events. Organizers for these events often justify them because of the amount of revenue that is generated; however, are there consequences to urban areas that host large events?
The moderator for this forum was Mr. Arthur R. Miller, an NYU professor and legal expert. The panel consisted of leaders in politics, security, media, law, ethics, and business debating the same question, “Are the benefits worth the costs?”
The discussions at times were spirited and topics such as legacy and economic displacement were covered. Some in the panel believed hosting these events were “not a great investment.” Some believed the money spent preparing and the cost would be better spent in a cities infrastructure. Gregory Ballard, Mayor for Indianapolis was one of the panelists and seems to have the model for how the city could have a long term benefit from having these events. His city hosts the Indianapolis 500 and hosted Super Bowl XLVI in 2012 and continues to reap benefits from them.
The main point from the discussion was that the lasting impact of a major sporting event depends on the city. A place like New York won’t see the benefits like Indianapolis or a Cleveland would. Sporting events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics can have a long lasting positive effect on an urban area if there is a long-term plan set in place.