Focus Friday: Did the Super Bowl have lasting effects on Houston?
February 10, 2017
In a way, Super Bowl LI was like the Olympics on a smaller scale. The city was touched up pretty extensively in order to entertain guests from all over the country for a short period of time. But these improvements were nowhere near temporary. Now, Discovery Green and NRG park have additions that will most likely last for a while and the best part: all of the facilities will continue to be used and will not be abandoned. It was a long-term investment that will continue to pay Houstonians and all who visit those venues back. So in a way, even though it was a major logistical nightmare for Houstonians, especially in the week leading up to it, the Super Bowl did a good job of showcasing our city to the rest of the country.
The Super Bowl is the most glamorous and dramatic American football game of the year. This event perhaps reflects everything good and bad about American society, including effort, individualism, teamwork, love, hate and conflict. The Super Bowl’s effect on Houston was essentially neutral, as the insane amount of coverage and money did not really benefit the people of Houston. Most of the benefits went towards the teams who played, the NFL and the several businesses that participated in the event. The average watcher just enjoyed a well-played football game. The Super Bowl serves as more of a pleasant distraction to the city rather than some sort of catalyst for economic gain, or just some magnet for crowded streets and businesses. It has the capacity to be a unifier in a divided and problem-filled world. Sports, in general, has an important function in life and is regarded as an indispensable factor for intellectual and moral growth. While sports are fascinating to participate in, whether as a viewer or player, the display of physical capabilities and the beauty of the human body draws us to admire these games. The problem appears as the money and glamour of these fantastic events are placed above the athletic skill. While the Super Bowl in Houston was enchanting, there is no clear determination to say it was good or bad for the city.
It’s always true that whenever a city hosts a large sports event good and bad follows. The Super Bowl is probably the greatest American (sports) attraction all year. It is a big gamble to host; you either get a lot of money and great press, or you lose. For the week leading up to the Super Bowl, Houston felt a lot of the bad effects: terrible traffic, tourists clogging up everything, press everywhere. But, even with that, it seems like we won. The city pulled off a fantastic Super Bowl week, and catered to everyone very well. We made a huge profit of $350 million, which doesn’t always happen. The (end) of the Super Bowl was fantastic (from a sports sense). We caught some very bad guys. In the end, people will remember Houston and Super Bowl 51, and that’s what matters.