Super money: How much do we invest in one game?

The hype fades as we clean up the crumbs and remains of our parties. Our parents went to theirs, and we went to our own. But, we don’t think about the colossal flow of US currency revolving around this one night, it is far beyond the cost of some pop and a platter of wings. Over 110 million people were at similar parties Sunday night, focused on the screen. That’s 35% of America. Some were anticipating the next play, and some anxiously awaiting the commercials. Almost half of American households with a TV were tuned into the game. The funny thing is that 106.6 million of the 110+ million viewers stayed with CBS and watched the power outage, but then the number went back up over 113 million for the end when the ‘Niners had one last chance. Companies, stars, and average viewers alike took their own stab at the blackout, as it was the No. 1 trend of the whole game on Twitter – with 231,000 tweets about the lack of light every minute. People initially pointed fingers at hackers, terrorists, Beyonc é ’s halftime show, and people who bet on the 49ers. These suspected culprits were all proven innocent when the cause was discovered as mechanical error, which was actually a slight fear from the beginning. SHAPE * MERGEFORMAT Every year, the NFL championship game creates a gambling frenzy in Vegas. Casinos took in total over $98.9 million in bets on Super Bowl XLVII. Bettors go to the 184 different Sports books in Vegas – which are large gambling centers that hold wagers on every play, element, and aspect of the game. Last year, Casinos brought in a combined $13 million on the big game. The Super Bowl is vital to Vegas casinos – as it accounts 15% of their yearly income. All in all, $10 Billion dollars is wagered. Jay-z coming on stage and joining Beyoncé had 50/50 odds. Bets were placed on the length of the Harbaugh brothers’ post game hug/handshake – will it last more than 7.5 seconds? Fans who bet that the 49ers’ last score would be on a safety won big, with 50/1 odds. Super Dome officials knew there was a chance of power failure. But the fact that it happened got Vegas gamblers, who otherwise are looked at as crazy, a huge profit, given the odds that it would actually occur. In last year’s NFL championship when the Giants played the Pats, in which the Giants were given 20/1 chance of winning, they pulled off what seemed to be a miracle. This stunned viewers and fans, but what it really did was give Las Vegas the shaft. Casinos lost an average five million from the Giants’ win – one of only two times in the last twenty years that Vegas lost. ­­­ In sports books, betting for the Super Bowl begins week one of the season. The odds for any given team fluctuate from week to week. The Giants had a four game losing streak mid-season, and that upped their odds to 80/1. The payout at the end of the season is based off the odds at the time the bet was made. So, if a bettor put down $1,000 on the Giants when their odds were 80/1, they would’ve received an $80,000 payout – as the reward correlated with the odds. Just how much green is revolving around this one game? By hosting the event, the city of New Orleans received a $437 million economic boost. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­That’s $30 million more than the City of Cincinnati had to fork out to build Bengals’ Paul Brown Stadium – a load of money. Best Buy, among many other electronics retailers jump to capitalize on the event with promotional deals and advertisements, convincing us that the only way to watch the game is on their 72” 1080p TV that’s only $2000. Worth it though – right? Even Time Warner Cable takes the opportunity to get people to switch to their service from Dish, or others. They headline by giving a promise of installation before the game. These realms of business receive the largest increase in sales for the game. Beyonc é ’s halftime show was incredible – not only her but the lights, screens, and affects alone could serve as a show. The production alone cost over $600,000. But, she actually didn’t get paid to do it . The NFL pays for all costs associated at least. So, since it is the most watched musical event every year, it is obviously a privilege to play it. For that reason the NFL doesn’t need to pay – the opportunity alone is enough. For the Halftime show to be called and advertised as “The Pepsi Halftime Show”, The Pepsi Co footed about $7 million – that much for their name to be mentioned, and their logo to be shown. We all know that the winners get the coveted ring. But, they also get a little bonus. One year the winning teams’ players were awarded $77,000 dollars – over $34,000 higher than the average American’s year’s salary ($43,000). The ring, designed by Jostens , is studded with roughly $16,000 in rocks. For the 51 active players and sizable staff that’s about $1,312,000 for rings alone. Economists say that on the Super Bowl Weekend, an extra $80 million dollars is spent on food, and groceries – the second highest food consuming event only behind Thanksgiving. Super Bowl Sunday is America’s true “wing” day. Approximately 1.25 billion chicken wings are consumed by America for the game. That’s next to the average of 250 million consumed every other day of the year. Arguably more anticipated than the game – the commercials. A thirty-second spot fetched around $4 million. Besides the cost of just airing the commercial, how much do companies spend on making them? Big names cost a little bit – as Kate Upton costs about $1 million just to wash a Mercedes – that she probably also got to keep – in slow motion for a few seconds. Of course news pages don’t spare any space with their game coverage, but have you noticed the equal or maybe even larger presence of commercial reviews and recaps? We are all focused on the stats of the game, but do we recognize the numbers going on behind the scenes? Overall the Super Bowl, like Christmas, has turned into a rat race that reflects the world’s overbearing fixation on money. Yes, it is vital to our civilization to keep order, but it has come to cloud the real purpose of many simple pleasures in the world. Is the Super Bowl just a microcosm that epitomizes the heavily capitalistic, big money world we live in? That may be the unfortunate reality. But – game day is something to look forward to. The good thing is that we all still get to enjoy family or friends, good food, a good time, and a big game. We give the goings-on behind the game little thought, and that is why we can truly enjoy it – by looking past all that, and enjoying some wings.