HOUSTON – How does Houston really benefit from money generated by Super Bowl LI? According to the Houston Host Committee chairman, everybody benefits.
However, some complain that most of revenues are earmarked for the elite.
Employees rolled pallets of chairs into Super Bowl Live venues on Thursday. People on fork lifts, security, stage builders worked to ensure next week’s party goers have fun.
When asked how they benefit from the Super Bowl being in Houston, two men working near minimum wage jobs on Discovery Green told us they are happy to have steady income.
Still, they wondered who will make significant money off the event?
“The citizens should benefit way more than a lot of these businesses are benefiting,” said Ivan Vaughn.
Of the estimated $350 million expected to flow into Houston, the city’s Super Bowl Host Committee said $45 million will be tax revenue shared by the city, Harris County, its Sports Authority and Metro.
Everything else comes from sales and goes to restaurants, hotels, rental car companies, Uber, taxis and other private businesses.
“I feel like we need a little bit more benefits,” said Larry Gipson, Jr., another worker.
Texas Organizing Project advocates agree.
“Those folks are really not seeing any direct benefit from the game itself,” said Laura Perez-Boston of TOP.
She believes developers profit while average Houstonians see little invested into neighborhoods in need.
“It’s about creating jobs for Houstonians long term,” said Ric Campo, chairman of the Host Committee.
Campo said the payoff for most of the city hinges on the event’s success.
The Super Bowl is Houston’s chance to demonstrate its greatness and attract new business, Campo said. That could lead to more better paying jobs.
“It’s not about how much money I make today,” Campo said. “It’s about can I make money for my life?”