We have previously discussed how the National Football League continues to use tax-exempt status to avoid taxes and how NFL lawyers continually bully people over the use of terms like the “Superbowl.” The NFL never seems satisfied that it has squeezed enough money out of citizens or cities. Now, the NFL’s list of demands for cities wanting to host the Superbowl has been released and, even for those used to the greed of the NFL, the The 153-page checklist is pretty shocking from golf courses to ATMs. It appears that there is no limit to the appetite of Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The Star Tribune acquired the list for Minneapolis winning the rights to Super Bowl LII that will highlight the new Vikings Stadium. The document includes a long list of things that the NFL demands for free including 20 billboards, 20 color pages of advertising, weeks of free radio ads, and an army of police officers to arrest people who try to sell non-NFL merchandize. Then there is the agreement to yank any ATM machines that do not take NFL-preferred cards — potentially leaving fans unable to get cash unless they get it from an NFL-related card. Then there is the necessity of four “top quality” golf courses and two “top quality” bowling lanes, including the waiver of any fees. Then there is the supply of portable cellular towers at hotels if the signal is not acceptable to the NFL royalty.
Then there are the free presidential suites in the best hotels and free police escorts for team owners.
Finally, in keeping with the NFL’s avoidance of federal taxes, the NFL demands full exemption from state, county, and city taxes.
The NFL is only able to get away with such grotesque demands because politicians are spineless and easily intimidated by the organization. I am a huge fan of football but I would gladly forgo the Super Bowl in my hometown if the NFL made such demands. If nothing else, Congress can finally act to strip the NFL of its non-for-profit status. It will not make a huge difference, but it would be good to see the NFL have to pay something to someone.
17 thoughts on “Goodell’s Goodie List: NFL Demands Presidential Suites, Golf Courses, Police Escorts, and Other Swag From Super Bowl Hosts”
If you don’t mind football is king, you see the wisdom or not.
saucy, They do more than bamboozle, they blackmail. The NFL has not had a team in LA, the second largest US market, because they find it more valuable as a blackmail tool. Many teams have used the “We need a new stadium or we’ll go to LA” ploy. It works EVERY time. It’s currently being used in San Diego.
We now know that civilization goes crazy from the top down.
There is a trickle-down but don’t get any of it on you.
The D.C. Circuit has ruled that torture is within the scope of the employment of government officials (Allaithi v Rumsfeld, PDF).
With all that torture, they need some golf in the U.S.eh?
JT wrote “Congress can finally act to strip the NFL of its non-for-profit status”
It’s so typically American that the NFL (which takes in almost $10 billion per year according to Forbes) and Scientology are not taxed as regular businesses.
Teams around the country are able to bamboozle cities to pay for their stadiums. In Denver, residents of seven counties paid $259 million in taxpayer obligation, plus interest, for Sports Authority Field at Mile High / Invesco Field at Mile High. The rationale was jobs, but that reasoning has holes large enough for even the slowest back to run through. Why are football jobs important but jobs of small businesses are not?
Steve Kellam, There is NO better example of corporate welfare than having hard working taxpayers pay for stadiums for billionaires. Peter Ueberoth was a short lived commissioner. He was axed quickly when he said owners should build their own stadiums, not taxpayers.
Elaine, I watched that Oliver show and LMAO. I thought of that as I read the post. Frightening that we had the same thought! I have thought for some time Goodell is a disciple of the Avery Brundage school of sports management. Time for Condelezza Rice to take over. It’s a job she has made clear she would love. The first female, the first black person, commissioner of a major sport. She would be SUPERB!
Regarding the “other” football and FIFA:
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): FIFA and the World Cup
Add this to the list of reasons I no longer follow football. I’m waiting for the Rugby Unions contract with Rupert Murdoch to run out. Ever since it made that deal Murdoch has done his best to bury the sport. He’s afraid of the competition.
they’ve got domed football stadiums. do you really think they’re too humble to ask for a couple of domed golf courses?
Have they been to Minneapolis in February? I don’t think the four top quality golf courses are going to get much use.
How many cities fall all over themselves to “win” the Superbowl. Politicians sell it to voters under the guise that it generates revenue, when it’s actually a huge money pit. The uniformed believe them because they are…..uninformed.
Why are politicians using taxpayer funds for stadiums or even single games for profitable entities like the NFL, NBA or MLB? Because we let them.
Well, if the owners play in Minnesota during the winter, I suggest they put it on TV as an extreme sport. I know that people are driven to play golf in the snow (hence the orange golf balls) but this I have got to see. I would sign up for a pay-for-view if all the owners and Goodell would play.
It makes better sense in Arizona, where they are coming sadly. We have tons of good golf courses they can play and Super Bowl time is a great time to play.
Ok, who the hell is playing golf in Minnesota in the winter. That has got to be a joke.
Paul, indeed, this could be the ultimate revenge on Goodell and his cronies when they arrive at the course! Unfortunately, knowing the NFL, I am sure that they will schedule the golf event for warmer months.
Billionaire owners convince spineless politicians to milk poor cities and states for billion dollar stadium projects where most citizens can’t afford to attend games. $200 per ticket, $30 parking, $8 beers, $6 hot dogs to hear obnoxious, drunk, bigoted, sloven morons scream obscenities, and get into fights while women wait 20 minutes to use a bathroom. Only in NFL America will people pay so much for the right to be abused. I like watching football but the games I attended were more work than enjoyment.
Grotesque is certainly the best description. Politicians should respond to these demands by slamming the door. If all did this, the NFL would have to come to reason quickly.
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