HOUSTON (TX) - The big game has come and gone, leaving many around the country saying Houston brought a lot to the table as Super Bowl host. Now, Houstonians wait to see whether the Super Bowl brought a lot to their local economy.
Official numbers are not out yet, and will likely take a while. An official economic study must be conducted, according to the Houston Super Bowl 51 Host Committee. The official economic report on last year's game didn't come out for 6 months.
The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau estimated the net economic impact of hosting Super Bowl 51 would be around 350 million dollars. That would be 130-thousand more than San Francisco made hosting Super Bowl 50, according to official numbers from their host committee. Rockport Analytics estimated Super Bowl 51 would generate more than 58-hundred jobs for Houstonians. All these numbers will be clarified in the official report.
Meanwhile, local businesses feel positive about the Super Bowl impact.
"Oh man, we were on the slower side of the event and we served 3-4 thousand," said Nathan Chang, one of the lucky restaurant owners to have a booth inside Super Bowl LIVE. Chang says his business saw a boost even outside of the fan zones, saying his Rice Village food truck saw a major bump in customers over the course of Super Bowl week.
Alex Brennan-Martin of Brennan's of Houston believes digital chatter proved a new perk for businesses from the last time Houston hostedSuper Bowl. He points to a picture the restaurant posted of Martha Stewart eating there during Super Bowl week.
"People want to eat crab cakes that Martha Stewart had," said Brennan-Martin. "It's just strange like that." He feels the desire to post photos of oneself at the hottest spots in town led many media-lovers to visit a higher number of venues than in previous Super Bowls.
Brennan-Martin, who says he was Chairman of the Visitor's Bureau the year Houston booked Super Bowl, believes the upgrades done for the game downtown are going to pay off.
"Our new campus downtown with the Marriott, the new George R. Brown Convention Center, and certainly the Hilton has never looked better," said Brennan, who hosted meeting planners throughout Super Bowl week. "Each and every one of those meeting planners was talking to me about the hospitality...I know the city will do extraordinarily well with conventions coming down the line."