ALBANY, NY - New York State is spending $5 million on the Super Bowl, and you paid for it.
While Sunday's big game is being played in East Rutherford, New Jersey, both states share hosting duties. Our lawmakers decided that means spending millions in taxpayer dollars.
The funding comes straight from the Governor's budget which "...includes $5 million to support activities in New York State to promote tourism and stimulate economic development opportunities associated with this premier event."
So what do you get for your money?
This information comes right from the Empire State Development Corporation's website. That is the state agency overseeing these events along with the Super Bowl Host Committee. Two-and-a-half million dollars buys a 13 block stretch of Broadway which is now transformed into an NFL fan celebration zone called Super Bowl Boulevard. Fans can mingle along the Times Square stretch to check out exhibits, get autographs from players, and have a picture taken with the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Or they can kick a field goal, listen to live music, and go on a giant toboggan ride complete with fake snow. A million people are expected to visit Super Bowl Boulevard leading up to the game.
One-million dollars paid for a Mobile Tour to promote the Super Bowl in the New York City metro region.
A party for five-thousand members of the media cost taxpayers $500,000. A social media communication center staffed with people answering non-Super Bowl related questions about the New York City area ate up part of the remaining million set aside for decor, media and volunteers.
Empire State Development promised to email us a list of Western New York businesses that would benefit from taking part in the pre-Super Bowl activities. We were also told they were working on finding someone with the agency for us to interview. They did not come through with anyone.
We also contacted the Super Bowl Host Committee and did not receive a response.
If you do go to New York City, Super Bowl Boulevard is free, but you already paid for it. It is open until Saturday night at ten.