Was it worth it?
A year has passed since Houston hosted Super Bowl LI and how does the nation’s most diverse city feel about hosting one of the world’s most popular events?
"Number one, I can't tell you the amount of attention that we received’ positive impressions from all over the globe,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.
“That was a major, major plus. “You just can't pay for that.”
Kevin Cooper, the Houston Super Bowl host committee’s manager of media relations, agrees. "When does a City have the opportunity to say, ‘This is the best of us.’ And that's the opportunity we got here with the Super Bowl," added Cooper.
The Host Committee says 1.3 million people attended the interactive NFL Experience and Super Bowl Live concert series; the most ever, respectively, at a Super Bowl.
A postgame study estimates Super Bowl LI contributed $347 million to local economy. Plus, $4 million was awarded to dozens of Houston-area charitable organizations through the host committee’s Touchdown Houston giving program.
New restaurants; a dazzling fountain in front of the convention center; and a sparkling new hotel with a lazy river which is totally Texas also arrived in time for the big game.
Houston isn’t keeping its game plan a secret, either.
“The biggest thing that really worked for us and Houston was to have one central place (for the events surrounding the game,” said Cooper, speaking of Houston’s Discovery Green area.
Is there any more advice for future host sites?
“Don't leave out the locals,” said Turner. “If you design your programming for the local community -- people in the area -- every day, you’re already off to a good start.”
Was it worth it? Houston can sum it up in one word: yes.
In fact, Houston can’t wait to host another one.