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Super bowl participation and the local economy: Evidence from the stock market

Rui Du and Junfu Zhang ()

Growth and Change, 2022, vol. 53, issue 4, 1513-1545

Abstract: This paper assesses the impact of a home team's participation in a major sporting event—the Super Bowl—on the local economy. Our identification strategy is to compare the winning and losing cities of the National Football League (NFL) conference championship games under the assumption of similar pre‐trends. We use the stock market performance of public companies headquartered in these cities to capture the changing prospects of local economies attributable to Super Bowl participation. The exogenous variation in football game outcomes allows for a straightforward difference‐in‐differences approach to identify the causal effect. We show that the post‐event trends in winning and losing cities diverge despite their similar trends before the end of the regular season. Our empirical results indicate that winning the NFL conference championship game, thus the opportunity to compete in the Super Bowl, has a positive, significant effect on the local economy, particularly the manufacturing and FIRE (finance, insurance, and real estate) sectors. A similar analysis of winning the Super Bowl, however, finds no further significant effect on the local economy.

Date: 2022
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