"The direction to staff was to charge all the time they spent, not look at the budget, and it just so happened we were right on with the budget," explained Rajeev Batra, the acting Santa Clara City Manager.
The numbers are in, and Santa Clara made $744,000 after coming in $3,000 below its projected $3.5 million budget.
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Santa Clara has received $3.4 million in reimbursement from the San Francisco Super Bowl Host Committee, along with smaller amounts from the NFL and from increased hotel and sales tax revenue from fans staying and eating and shopping in town for a total of $4.2 million.
Roger Noll, Professor Emeritus at Stanford and an expert in sports economics, says Santa Clara was in an unusual situation, hosting the game at Levi's stadium, while San Francisco hosted most of the events leading up to the Super Bowl, so it lost out on tax revenue.
"You expect that the incremental tax revenues from hosting the event will be sufficient to pay those costs, and since most of these others events didn't take place in Santa Clara, they didn't get that benefit," said Noll.
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Santa Clara did lose $1.6 million on hosting community events for local residents, but that was a way for Santa Clarans to show their pride and to celebrate, even though most didn't go to the game.
Now, Santa Clara thinks future Super Bowl cities will want to know its fiscal secrets.
"Because this was so successful, other cities will be looking to us now and come talking to us," said Batra.
San Francisco also made some money from the Super Bowl. Mayor Lee's office says the city had a $2.6 million net general fund total surplus. He called Super Bowl 50 an "unqualified success." Others though told the San Francisco Chronicle, they question the numbers and wonder why San Francisco made so little money when the NFL made hundreds of millions.
You can expect a debate about the numbers in San Francisco and in Santa Clara if Levi's Stadium hosts another Super Bowl.
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