Super Bowl generates super revenues

The Super Bowl isn’t just one of the most watched television events of the year — it’s also a huge revenue generator. From commercials to beer sales, the big game produces big dollars in every way possible.

The most obvious way the game generates money is through the incredible prices that the network airing the game can charge for commercials. According to, CBS sold out its ad inventory for Super Bowl XLVII at prices averaging between $3.7 million and $3.8 million per 30-second commercial.

Face value for tickets to this year’s Super Bowl ranged from $850 to $1,250, according to, the website for the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper. The Superdome, which had to be massively renovated after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, seats approximately 73,000 people for a Saints football game, according to Assuming an average price of $1,000 per ticket, that would mean a gate of $73 million, not counting the millions in luxury box sales, concessions, and parking.

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And while CBS and the NFL bring in big money, the title of Super Bowl champion is a nice, but not phenomenal, payday for players given the overall amount of money involved. According to, the winning Ravens players got $88,000 each for taking the 2013 title, while the losing 49ers team members take home $46,000.

Not all the money generated from the Super Bowl comes from advertising and ticket sales – it’s also a huge gambling event, and estimates that Nevada, where gambling is legal, would handle over $90 million in bets. Of course, much more than that will be wagered illegally with everything from off-shore betting operations to office pools.

A huge food event too

The National Chicken Council estimated that Americans would eat some 1.23 billion chicken wings over Super Bowl weekend. The council’s 2013 Wing Report showed that an estimated 1.23 billion wing portions were consumed during Super Bowl weekend in 2013.

Super Bowl wing consumption is down about 1 percent, or 12.3 million wings, compared to last year’s numbers, but not because demand for them is declining. Quite the opposite, explains Bill Roenigk, chief economist and market analyst at the Washington, D.C.-based National Chicken Council.

“Chicken companies produced about one percent fewer birds last year, due in large part to record high corn and feed prices,” Roenigk said. “Corn makes up more than two-thirds of chicken feed and corn prices hit an all-time high in 2012, due to two reasons: last summer’s drought and pressure from a federal government requirement that mandates 40 percent of our corn crop be turned into fuel in the form of ethanol. Simply put, less corn equals higher feed costs, which means fewer birds produced.”

It’s not just wings, however, as says that Super Bowl Sunday is the top day of the year for pizza sales. The site also says that even more pizzas are sold in the event of a close game.

An article on from 24/7 Wall St., cited figures from 2012 that showed there were 4 million pizzas sold by restaurants alone on Super Bowl Sunday. Those numbers, of course, do not count people making frozen pizzas or baking their own pies from scratch.

And, of course, people need something to wash all that pizza down. has an infographic on its site that shows that Americans would consume 50 million cases of beer during the 2013 Super Bowl. The graphic also shows that all that beer would result in 1.4 billion trips to the bathroom requiring more than 2 billion gallons of water used for flushing and – though it may not directly link to all the eating and drinking that goes on during the game – roughly 7 million people are expected to call in sick after the Super Bowl.