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Super Bowl 2010: Adding Up the Numbers

This article was updated on February 8, 2010.

While the water cooler chatter will focus on a gutsy on-sides kick, a nail-in-the-coffin interception and a battered city's revival, Super Bowl XLIV was full of lesser known, but still fascinating stats from linemen's weight to avocados consumed. Indeed, all sporting events, from NASCAR to the littlest Little League game, can be boiled down to numbers. Fantasy football players stake money and bragging rights on complex algorithms; Serena Williams' outbursts can be measured in five-digit fines; for centuries golfers focused on shots under par, now the sport is tallied by girlfriends of the star. But few orgies of hype can equal the Super Bowl – the television coverage starts 4 hours and 28 minutes before kickoff.

Here at MoneyWatch, we wanted to see the picture shown by the numbers, financial and otherwise, associated with the annual extravaganza. To paraphrase Jerry Maguire: Show us the money — and more.

  • Appreciation in ticket price since the first Super Bowl, in 1967: 22,225%
  • Compound annualized growth rate of ticket price: 13.4%
  • Appreciation in average U.S. home sale prices between 1967 and 2009, according to Census data: 999%
  • Compound annualized growth rate of home prices: 5.9%
  • Estimated franchise value of the New Orleans Saints, September 2009: $942 million
  • Total 2009 payroll for the New Orleans Saints: $121,552,424
  • Number of actual saints in New Orleans: 0
  • Number of actual saints associated with Indiana: 1
  • Number of actual colts in Marion County, Indiana, according to the most recent survey by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission: 2,800
  • Estimated franchise value of the Indianapolis Colts, September 2009: $1.025 billion
  • Total 2009 season payroll for the Indianapolis Colts’ 216 employees (including players): $101,203,115
  • Total 2009 payroll for the 4,345 employees of the Indianapolis School District: $229,534,367
  • Highest reported auction price of a Super Bowl ring (from 2004 Patriots running back Cedric Cobbs): $66,000
  • 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird’s estimated top speed in final stretch: 37.9 mph
  • Saints running back Reggie Bush’s top speed in the 40-yard dash: 18.7 mph
  • Total weight of Saints’ starting defensive line: 1,167 pounds
  • Total salary of Saints’ starting defensive line: $18.8 million
  • Average salary cost per pound of Saints’ starting defensive line: $16,110
  • Cost per pound of Tajima Kobe beef Chateaubriand steak ordered at Megu restaurants in New York City: $320
  • Number of hot dogs sold at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay during Super Bowl XLIII: 55,200
  • Number of pizza slices that Domino’s expects to sell on Super Bowl Sunday in 2010: More than 9 million
  • Number of avocados that the California Avocado Commission says fans will eat on Super Bowl Sunday: 160 million
  • Cost of a 30-second advertisement during Super Bowl XLIV: $3 million (See all the ads here)
  • Increase in traffic to Super Bowl advertiser CareerBuilder on the day after 2009 game: 25%
  • Amount the Census Bureau is spending to air one 30-second 2010 Super Bowl ad: $2.5 million
  • Amount the Census Bureau has spent on Super Bowl advertising before 2010: $0
  • Over/under (predicted total point score) for Colts-Saints matchup, as of press time: 56.5 (the highest in Super Bowl history)
  • Amount of money that will be bet on Super Bowl XLIV, per Nevada Gaming Commission estimate: $80 million to $85 million
  • Amount of money that will be bet on the 2010 World Cup through U.K.-based bookmakers, per Ladbrokes estimate: $1.58 billion
  • Per-person price of the three-day Tail-Great Super Bowl Package at the Trump Miami, including accommodation and one Super Bowl ticket: $4,500 per person
  • Price tag for the 2007 renovation of Sun Life Stadium, the former Miami Dolphins’ arena that will house Super Bowl XLIV: $250 million
  • Estimated cost to South Florida of hosting Super Bowl XLIV, including increased police presence, clean-up, etc.: $8 million
  • Economic benefit to South Florida, per the NFL’s optimistic estimates, as measured by additional tourist revenue and other spending: $353 million

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