On Super Bowl Sunday, a Look at the NFL Money Blitzing Washington

The youngest head coach in NFL history and his high-flying offense dubbed “The Greatest Show on Turf 2.0.” versus one of the most-storied quarterbacks in NFL history at age 41 seeking yet another ring. In a rematch of the famous 2002 Super Bowl XXXVI, the revitalized Los Angeles Rams are taking on the always dominant New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII on February 3. And much like politics can be, the NFL is all about the money.

The Super Bowl is the most valuable sports event on Earth and in 2018 Super Bowl LII generated $414 million from ad revenue alone. For the Super Bowl LII host city of Minneapolis, hosting the most-watched television event every year brought in $370 million in new spending. And now that sports betting is legal in all 50 states, estimates are $6 billion is expected to be gambled on the game.

The owners of the two Super Bowl LIII teams donated $1 million each to Donald Trump’s inaugural committee. Russian President Vladimir Putin also allegedly took one of the Patriots’ Super Bowl rings.

The NFL itself is a powerful institution flowing with cash. It regularly hauls in $14 billion per year and continues to grow. A massive, culturally significant business can’t afford to stay on the sidelines of American politics and rather than waiting on a Hail Mary pass, the NFL takes control of their fate through lobbying and its PAC. The outcome of an NFL game even got a Senate floor speech during the longest government shutdown in history.

Faced with continued controversy over national anthem protests, domestic violence and spotty officiating during the playoffs, the NFL is likely trying to tackle their PR problems and spent a high of $1.64 million on lobbying in 2018.

Primarily, the NFL focused their lobbying efforts on legislation affecting broadcasting policies, regulatory policies regarding players’ health and antitrust, stadium security,…

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