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The Money Behind Super Bowl LV

By: Derek Mahler

Despite early speculation that there wouldn't be football during the coronavirus pandemic, there was never any true doubt that Roger Goodell and his staff wouldn't make it work. After a tumultuous season with plenty of outbreaks, drama, and TikTok dances on opposing teams' logos, Super Bowl LV is finally upon us. Here's an inside look at the numbers behind the biggest game in sports.

Super Bowl tickets are, historically, the most coveted possession in sports. They have a reputation for being not only incredibly difficult to acquire, but for making your wallet considerably lighter. This year was no different. Add in the fact that capacity will be limited to 14,500 (excluding the 7,500 free tickets for front-line health care workers) in Raymond James Stadium and you’ve got some incredibly valuable tickets. Tickets on Ticketmaster were as high as $40,000 for prime seating, but for those uninterested in paying that much, there were less valuable seats available for a more reasonable $5,138.

Every February, marketers, and advertisers eagerly await to see how much a 30-second commercial spot costs. This year, it’s $5.5 million - a surprising $100k drop from last year. While this may seem steep, the Super Bowl provides some of the most valuable brand exposure in television. More than 100 million people are expected to tune into CBS. Companies that shell out this much are doing it for good reason - past Super Bowls have incubated some of the most legendary commercials of all time. Here’s my personal favorite. Try to make sure you handle your business before kickoff because having to hit the head during the game is a mortal sin.

Then there's gambling, the backbone of Las Vegas, Nevada. This year is no different - bettors are expected to wager over $4 billion. The Super Bowl is the degenerate gambler’s fantasy; from the coin toss to the over/under on the length of the national anthem to the color of the Gatorade dumped on the winning head coach, simply betting on the outcome has almost gone out of style. Personally, I’m taking the Kansas City Chiefs money line (-160). The old saying is “don’t bet against Brady”, but I have a feeling the new mantra will soon be “don’t bet against Mahomes”.

Sunday will undoubtedly bring us some incredible football. Will Brady get his 7th? Will Mahomes go back to back? Regardless, there will always be one true winner when it comes to the Super Bowl - the NFL.

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