The NFL awarded the 2024 Super Bowl (58) to New Orleans after the city secured a unanimous vote during Wednesday morning's single-city ballot process among NFL owners, snapping New Orleans' two-bid losing streak for the NFL's championship game.With each return of this comet, the rate at which our civic democratic institutions and public spaces are corrupted and left weakened by corporate welfare is accelerated. This is from a Lens examination of the city's concessions to the NFL in 2013 and the offer it was making in a bid to bring it back in 2018.
Are we going to get a look at what the city gave away this time around? Or is every media outlet going to just publish thousands and thousands of words of breathless cheerleading? For example, here is Jeff Duncan already writing without the slightest hint of irony...In 2013, local government bodies, including the city and the Orleans Parish School Board, agreed to refund up to $800,000 in local taxes to the league and member teams.* The actual refund came to about $500,000.Finally, Kopplin wrote that the city could not agree to the NFL’s request for the right of first refusal to buy public-transit ads. A private company, Laurel Outdoor Advertising, controls ads on RTA buses, streetcars and shelters.“It is understood that Laurel has long-term commitments on such advertising, but they have committed to the Host Committee to provide as much available inventory as possible to the NFL and/or their sponsors,” Kopplin wrote.The city agreed to every other NFL request without objection, including:
The city also agreed to some items that would not require any city action, such as allowing alcohol service until 4 a.m. at certain venues. And odds are it wouldn’t have had to do anything to meet one NFL requirement: equipment and services to deal with a snowstorm.
- Passing a city ordinance creating so-called Clean Zones for the event, where non-NFL-sanctioned advertising and sales permits would be banned
- Providing law enforcement to stop the sale of counterfeit NFL merchandise
- Committing airport personnel to provide special services to team charter planes, private planes and fan charters
We might not be able to fix our streets or drain them when it rains, but we know how to host a big event and throw a party. And events and parties don't get any bigger than the Super Bowl.Jeff goes on to prattle on about "economic impact" without interrogating what that actually means much less to whom the benefits of such an "impact" accrues. No time for that when we've got PR copy to write for Gayle Benson and "civic leaders" who aren't technically even employing Jeff now but who knows maybe someday.
And it's possible, the mega-events will take place in a glitzy, renovated Superdome if state and Saints officials can execute their plan to upgrade the stadium in the 2020-2022 offseasons. Considering the state of the state's finances, that's a big "if."The Advocate doesn't really have a Duncan in the sports department. But it does have Nick Underhill who, at least, knows a thing or two about football and does a serious job writing about it. When he's writing about the people in charge of football and the business of football, though, he does a serious job of flattering them.
Wednesday is a day to celebrate. Landing Super Bowl 2024 is a major triumph for the city. The civic leaders who collaboratively worked to land the big game deserve a toast. Their diligence paid off.
The victory was the result of six months of hard work by the GNOSF’s Jay Cicero, Joffray and others, who went back and forth with the league to meet all their demands and ready the presentation. While that group led the charge, they also worked alongside the Saints, Edwards, Cantrell, former mayor Mitch Landrieu, the Mercedes Benz-Superdome and SMG, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, as well as several hotels and hospitality venues on the bid.What did they commit to, though? What did all that "hard work" produce? We don't know. We do know it was "competitive," though. Which is a neat trick to pull off when you haven't actually been asked to compete for anything.
Committing to make upgrades to the Superdome was not part of the bid process or a requirement to be awarded the game. However, during her remarks following the announcement, Gayle Benson said there would be many changes made to the building before the 2024 Super Bowl.
The process for bidding on Super Bowls changed this year. Instead of having several teams present competing bids, the NFL worked solely with Arizona for the 2023 and New Orleans for the 2024 game. The league realized the benefits of such an approach last year when it tapped Tampa Bay to fill in for Los Angeles, which was facing delays with its stadium construction, in 2021.Minnesota was also rewarded for offering the most embarrassing package of incentives and payoffs yet reported on. Maybe that's why we've gone to this non-competitive bidding process. Fewer opportunities for something like that to leak.
Not only did the league realize that it can generate competitive bids by taking this approach, but the new process also cuts back on the bitter feelings losing teams and city’s often harbor after failing to land the game. New Orleans knows all about that after losing its last two bids to Minnesota and Atlanta, which were both rewarded for building new stadiums.
Oh yeah, I also have some good news. The good news is, thanks to any or some combination of factors such as, greater exposure of the untenable health risks of football, the sinking of the city into the sea, or the dissolution of the entire nation into fascism, the odds of there actually being a Superbowl or a New Orleans by 2024 are so slim that the prospect of a Superbowl in New Orleans is probably not something we're going to have to worry about.