It has been 17 years and 139 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

The cost to host the Super Bowl is estimated at $3.4 million to $4.1 million dollars. Let’s take a look at the revenue earned by the city. The oft touted public mentioning of Glendale as the host city will not be considered. It is an intangible that cannot be quantified. It has been my experience as a councilmember when the city hosted its first Super Bowl in 2008 that whatever publicity there was did not attract any new business to Glendale. Public safety will not be considered. The costs and reimbursements to and for public safety have been related in a previous blog. Instead we will focus on any revenue earned by any Glendale department.

My Public Records Request generated the following information related to revenue earned by the city:

  • The Glendale Media Center provided figures that reflect both the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl. It seems reasonable to attribute 40% to the Pro Bowl and 60% to the Super Bowl. Total revenue earned less expenses was $8,480.57. Attributing 40% of the revenue earned to the Pro Bowl revenue was $3,392.23. Attributing 60% of the revenue earned to the Super Bowl was $5,088.34.
  • Planning Review (all departments) submitted a figure of $23,297.94 as revenue earned.
  • Permits earned $36,129.39 in revenue to the city.
  • Total Airport earned revenue for the Super Bowl was $12,686.00.

Super Bowl revenue earned as reported by the city for the above areas totaled $77,201.67.

That leaves the burning question of sales tax revenues earned by the city. City provided sales tax figures for January, February and March of 2014 and 2015 are:

City Sales Tax Revenue

Category January 2014 February 2014 March 2014
Retail sales $9,972,625.07 $5,637,641.32 $6,051,941.00
Contracting 745,079.38 518,696.33 616,690.00
Rentals 1,288,183.21 1,231,427.59 1,198,958.00
Utilities 601,681.64 583,784.06 530,215.00
Telecom/cable TV 405,525.87 416,381.31 448,315.00
Restaurant/Bar 1,495,519.46 1,323,988.20 1,308,653.00
Amusement 273,379.62 164,735.96 **
Other 558,426.02 445,446.71 1,116,070.00
TOTAL $15,335,417.00 $9,905,713.90 $11,271,212.00
  January 2015 February 2015 March 2015
Retail sales $9,372,364.50 $5,907,360.87 $6,747,767.00
Contracting 875,261.45 364,980.35 313,977.00
Rentals 1,491,967.04 1,202,529.74 1,324,516.00
Utilities 550,498.45 652,889.28 533,143.00
Telecom/cable TV 413,887.84 399,566.79 378,533.00
Restaurant/Bar 1,672,493.84 1,470,676.34 1,795,488.00
Amusement 313,548.98 110,242.04 **
Other 626,308.30 648,248.08 3,702,783.00
TOTAL $15,316,326.00 $10.756,493.00 $14,796,226.00

Total revenues for 3 months (Jan. – Feb. – Mar.)

Year 2014 Year 2015
$36,512,342.90 $40,869,045.00

** You will note that the city supplied no figures for the Amusement category for March of 2014 and 2015. I requested the March 2014 and 2015 seperately and received the following with the figures provided: “The requested information is included below with the exception that the category of Amusements has been combined into the category labeled Other.  Due to laws regarding taxpayer confidentiality, the information on Amusements had to be aggregated.  Therefore, the Other category includes Amusements, Hotel/Motel, Use Tax,  Printing, Publishing, Advertising, Jet Fuel, and other small dollar categories.” When I asked for a further explanation of this new practice the explanation offered by Ms. Vicki Rios, Glendale’s Acting Finance Director (now that Tom Duensing has been named as Interim Assistant City Manager replacing Julie Frisoni) was: “Mrs. Clark, 

“Section 21.1-450 (a) of the Glendale City Code states in part, “Except as specifically provided, it shall be unlawful for any official or employee of the City to make known information obtained pursuant to this Chapter concerning the business financial affairs or operations of any person.” 

“We take our obligation to protect taxpayer information very seriously.  During the month of March 2015, the mix and volume of taxpayer transactions in the Amusement category was such that if we were to disclose that category separately it would compromise the confidentiality of one or more taxpayers.  Therefore, we had to aggregate the category with other items for that month.  Because the taxpayer base and volume of transactions changes monthly, we evaluate each request independently.  Therefore, we were able to provide that information in the prior months.” The Amusement category would include sales tax receipts related to the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl.

January sales tax reflects December; February sales tax reflects January; and March reflects February. That is because sales tax is reported and paid in the month following the actual sales.

At first blush, when looking at the total sales tax reported for Jan. – Feb. – Mar. in 2014 and 2015 the first inclination is to say the $4,356,702.10 increase year over year is due to the Super Bowl.

Not so fast. There are mitigating factors to be considered. Tom Duensing, in his May 19, 2015 presentation to the city council on sales tax, stated that much of the increase is due to growth within the city. He indicated that new businesses have located in Glendale and they contributed to the sales tax revenue increase. In fact, Tanger Outlets grew substantially. Since Glendale does not publicly further refine its sales tax receipts the assumption is that an estimated $500,000 of that sales tax increase can be attributed to Tanger Outlet growth. If $500,000 is subtracted from the $4,356,702.10 year over year increase the figure is now $3,856,702.100 in sales tax revenue that can be attributed to all 3 major events: the Fiesta Bowl, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl.

Using the 40%/60% assumption, 40% can be attributed to the Fiesta Bowl and the Pro Bowl arriving at a figure of $1,542,680.80 in sales tax revenue. The Super Bowl sales tax figure at 60% is assumed to be $2,314,021.20. Add to this figure $77,201.67 in direct revenue the city received for the Super Bowl and the assumed figure for revenue earned by the city for the Super Bowl is $2,391,222.87.

Mr. Duensing budgeted $2.2 million dollars for the Super Bowl. Under his scenario the city only lost $191, 222.87 to host the Super Bowl. However the assumption is that the Super Bowl costs ranged from a low of an estimated $3.4 million to $4.1 million dollars. Based upon the figures used in this and the previous Super Bowl blogs the estimated loss to the city to host the 2015 Super Bowl ranges from a low of $1,008,777.13 to a high of $1,608,777.13.

The city admittedly had no mechanism to track all costs associated with hosting the Super Bowl and while it may have the figures of sales tax directly attributable to the Super Bowl it does not publicly divulge them. It should be of concern to all Glendale taxpayers that the city does not track each and every Super Bowl related expense. Based upon available expense and revenue figures the city was able to provide an estimated loss of $1 million to $1.6 million dollars is a reasonably accurate estimate. If you accept that the city only lost an estimated $191,000 I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.

The last Super Bowl blog will share some interesting information on Super Bowl credentialed Glendale employees and how much some Glendale employees made in overtime or time and a half working these 3 major events. Some of the figures will astound you.

© Joyce Clark, 2015


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