Super Bowl By the Numbers: 2013 Edition

3 Minute Read

If the Super Bowl had a motto, it might be “Go big or go home.”

Everything related to the game is over-the-top, glamorous and … you guessed it: expensive. From the tickets to the ads to the halftime show to the parties, we lose our collective minds when it comes to spending money on the Super Bowl.

So what is the going rate for some of the most popular Super Bowl-related items?


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The Tickets

Sometimes, all the hype around the Super Bowl makes you forget that there’s actually a game. And if you want to go, you’re going to spend some cash—a lot of cash. As of press time, the cheapest ticket on one online vendor was going for around $1,600. And if you want to go all out, you can get a 30-person suite for $325,000!

The Ads

The average cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad in 2013 is $4 million. Think about that. If you invest $300 a month in a good growth stock mutual fund from age 25 to 65, you’ll have enough money for one 30-second Super Bowl ad. That’s quite a bit of pressure to have a good ROI.

The Halftime Show

Last year, more people tuned in for Madonna’s halftime show (114 million) than actually watched the game itself (111 million). So how much did she make for that performance? Nothing. Nada. Zero dollars. That’s because Super Bowl halftime performers don’t get paid. But their performance is no act of charity. Madonna might not have received a cash payment, but she got 12 minutes of exposure on a world stage that costs $4 million for a 30-second ad. If you think about it, that’s $96 million of free advertising. Beyoncé will perform this year’s halftime show for “free.”

Super Bowl Snacks

It’s estimated that Americans spent more than $1 billion on food for last year’s big game, including (according to Turbo Tax) $184 million on potato chips, $40 million on pretzels and, for the health conscious, $12 million on rice cakes. If Americans can do one thing well, it’s throw a big Super Bowl party.

The Winners

Aside from worldwide fame, a big ring and the famous Lombardi trophy, Super Bowl winners also receive $83,000 for their victory. Not too bad for a day’s work.

The Losers

Don’t feel too bad for the Super Bowl’s losing team. Each player will receive $42,000 for getting knocked around by the winners. You could do worse—like spending $4 million on a 30-second ad that bombs.

The Local Economy

It’s currently estimated that this year’s game will have a $434 million impact on New Orleans, which is hosting the game for the tenth time. That’s a lot of crawfish étouffée!

The Superdome

Hurricane Katrina was not kind to the Superdome. The stadium needed about $185 million in repairs and refurbishing to be ready in time for the 2006 season. Seven years later, with the city set to host the Super Bowl, all is right again in New Orleans.

So if you ever hear someone say, “The Super Bowl isn’t that big a deal,” you have our permission to respond, “What planet are you living on?”

You might not like the Super Bowl. You might not even watch the game. But you can’t deny the financial impact. The amount of dollars that change hands during the week of the Super Bowl is unbelievable.

So will you be watching?

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