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OPINION

Academics Estimate Average Cost Per American Attending a Super Bowl Party Will Be $85.60

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Evan Vucci

Author's note: Dr. Kent MacDonald co-wrote this article. He is the President of Northwood University, a leading Business University headquartered in Midland, Michigan. 

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Will you pay 8.3% more to attend a Super Bowl Party this weekend?

The key indicator of inflation at the end of 2022 showed consumer prices up 6.5% in December and roughly 7.1% for 2022 overall. Inflation continues to be a concern based on the direction of government spending at the end of 2022 and into 2023. In addition, data released recently by the U.S. Treasury Department shows the U.S. National Debt at nearly $31.5 trillion or almost $250,000 per taxpayer and growing. A growing national debt will ensure that inflation remains near a 40-year high for at least the first half of 2023.

The Wall Street Journal reported food prices for home consumption increased by almost 12% in 2022 with those higher prices carrying over into early 2023. Our McNair Center is predicting overall food prices could rise 7% or higher by the end of 2023. 

Higher food prices in 2023 will be driven by two factors. The first will be erratic U.S. energy policy and continued problems in a somewhat improving U.S. and global supply chain. Our second and major cause of higher future U.S. food inflation will be the continued expansion of the U.S. Federal Reserve Monetary Policy. Or simply put, the U.S. government will continue to print more money in the second half of 2023 after erroneously believing it had conquered inflation by the end of the second quarter. The FED in the second half of 2023 will once again begin to print more money each month than the economy is producing in goods, services, and or assets. With more money chasing relatively fewer goods, services, and assets, prices will once again begin to rise by year-end. Prices are now going up 6.5% on an annual basis and will likely slow, but not much overall, by the end of the year.

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We carefully analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, Statista, and the National Retail Federation on issues related to the upcoming 57th Super Bowl and then drew the following conclusions on money spent on and around the Super Bowl and related festivities.

We conclude that roughly 215 million Americans — or 64.75% of the U.S. population — will tune into the Super Bowl this Sunday on televisions, computers, handheld devices, or via radio. A record 208 million people will watch the game on television and roughly 184.7 million of the 208 million will either attend or host a Super Bowl party. An estimated $15.81 billion will be spent on Super Bowl parties. The average cost per American attending a Super Bowl party in 2023 will be roughly $85.60 per person — up from $79.00 for Super Bowl 2022. If our cost estimates for 2023 are correct, Super Bowl parties will cost 8.3% more this year; just another indicator that inflation has not subsided.

Individuals historically have cited numerous reasons for wanting to watch the Super Bowl, with 40% of Americans tuning in “for the love of the game;” 21% stating they want to watch or listen to the commercials; and 18% listing the halftime show as their reason for watching. Socializing with friends and family were the next two most popular reasons for watching the Super Bowl.

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Of the $14.6 billion to be spent on Super Bowl LVII gatherings and related items, one or more of the following purchases were most popular among the surveyed. Fully 79% of the money will be spent on food and beverages; 11% on game apparel; 9% on new televisions (a Super Bowl game is one of the most important reasons why Americans purchase a new television annually), with 8% spent on decorations and 5% spent on new furniture.

According to Statista, the most expensive Super Bowl parties over the last decade before our estimate for 2023 were 2013 at $82.30, 2015 at $89.05, 2016 at $82.19, and 2020 at $88.65.

The Super Bowl is broadcast to 185 countries in seven languages and attracts an additional 800 million listeners and viewers around the world. As popular as the Super Bowl is in the United States, it is estimated that the World Cup Soccer Championship game, held once every four years attracts somewhere between 1.5-2.5 billion people globally.

In addition, more than 35 million people are estimated to gamble on the Super Bowl this year, spending $16 billion in casinos and across living room tables, up from $7.6 billion in 2022.

Whether you are in a casino, living room, or sports bar or have the money to travel to Glendale, Arizona, inflation will ensure we will pay much more to enjoy Super Bowl LVII.

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Dr. Timothy G. Nash is the director of the McNair Center for the Advancement of Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Northwood University. Dr. Kent MacDonald is the president of Northwood University.

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