In trying to entice a city to subsidize a pro team, the National Football League will haul out the grossly inflated $350 million–plus figure and promise future Super Bowls that would help offset the stadium cost. San Diego will be hearing that argument as the team and the establishment lobby for a subsidy of $700 to $800 million for a new Chargers stadium. But the whole idea is ridiculous. There are 32 teams. Even some in cold-weather cities may get Super Bowls. Maybe 20 cities are host candidates. “The benefit of having a Super Bowl every 20 years is tiny compared to the cost of a facility,” says Noll. “You’d get at most two Super Bowls in the life of a stadium.”
But the public still swallows such nonsense. Councilmember Donna Frye remembers one Super Bowl year when a constituent asked what the city council would do with that $350 million check it was getting from the National Football League. The league would like people to believe such nonsense.