Here's How Much Super Bowl 50 Will Cost San Francisco

The big game comes to the Bay.

Every year, the Super Bowl descends upon a different American city, turning it into a firestorm as thousands upon thousands of people flock to the area and sports media fixes its bright lights on one spot. This year the lucky city to host America's biggest sporting event is San Francisco, the beautiful City by the Bay. Of course, hosting it is no small task and no cheap one either — this year's Super Bowl 50 will cost San Francisco up to $4 million.

According to city estimates, most of the spending will be for transportation and police. The Municipal Transportation Agency estimates it will spend $1.7 million and the Police Department $1.5 million. Beyond that, the Fire Department, Economic and Workforce Development Department, and Public Works say they'll spend roughly $500,000 each, and the Department on the Status of Women estimates it will spend $100,000.

Most likely, the revenues generated by a boost in business during a relatively quiet time for tourism will vastly outweigh the cost to the city — previous hosts of the Super Bowl have apparently taken in as much as hundreds of millions of dollars. Still, many critics think the NFL should pick up the tab regardless. Supervisor John Avalos pointed out that residents will have to face plenty of inconveniences that don't show up on the final receipt. 

"Buses are rerouted, traffic diverted, and congestion increases," he said. "Basic services are diverted from neighborhoods to serve corporations and out-of-towners."

Considering the actual game will be played at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, which is around 45 miles south of San Francisco, the city might not actually take as big of a hit as it would if the game were played at the old Candlestick Park. Santa Clara isn't nearly as scenic a destination as San Francisco, though, so it's not hard to guess where visitors will want to stay and explore throughout the weekend. But as with all loud, annoying parties, eventually Super Bowl 50 will come to an end. And there's a pretty good chance it'll leave a big pile of money in its wake.

Cover image: Wikimedia


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