Super Bowl LII Imposes a Twin Tax in The Twin Cities
February 02, 2018
Contributions from Michael Breit and Evan Waxman
Edited by Timothy P. Speiss
The Super Bowl XXXIX rematch is set to kick off between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday February 4 with Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, one of the Twin Cities, in Minnesota. Game festivities began on January 26, with a ten-day festival leading up to the big game.
Consistent with Super Bowl tradition, visitor estimates from outside the state is expected to be high; 125,000 visitors are anticipated, and are forecasted to spend $610 per day, contributing $30 million to $50 million of incremental impact to the Twin Cities according to estimates from Pennsylvania-based Rockport Analytics, which is working with the Super Bowl Host Committee. One million people are expected to attend Super Bowl-related events; many of these will be Minnesota residents according to the game’s Host Committee. In comparison to Super Bowl LI, the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee announced in 2017 that $347 million of new spending was generated in Greater Houston, which originated from the spending of 150,000 visitors on retail shopping and hotels, at entertainment outlets, and with food and beverage providers.
There is an additional significant economic impact to Minnesota – individual income tax receipts from the Super Bowl players and coaches. Beginning with their January 28 arrival in Minnesota, all Patriot and Eagle players and coaches will be subject to Minnesota state income tax on their NFL team-related income and Super Bowl game earnings, through February 4. This is because they are performing services in Minnesota on these days. These days are referred to as “duty days” and are the number of workdays spent in the state, which includes pre-game practice days and days on which team meetings, promotional caravans, special appearances, and press conferences are held. There is an out, however: For any players who are unable to participate in the game and are not rendering services in any manner, and if they attend the Super Bowl as solely spectators, they will not be required to include these days as duty days in Minnesota, and therefore will not be subject to state taxation.
Each player on the 2018 Super Bowl-winning team is expected to earn $191,000, while members of the losing team will earn $135,000; these amounts are in addition to each player’s individual contract terms for a Super Bowl appearance. The individual income tax rate in Minnesota starts at 5.35% on earnings up to $36,650 and is 7.05% on income up to $145,621. The top rate is 9.85% for earnings over $258,261; these tax rates will apply to each player’s and coach’s Super Bowl earnings, and contract income allocated to Minnesota as duty days. In addition, each player and coach is subject to tax on Super Bowl-related income in their resident state, and are able to claim a tax credit for taxes paid to Minnesota.
With each player and coach paying income tax on Super Bowl earnings to their resident state and Minnesota, they are subject to a twin tax in the Twin Cities.
This article is one of a series that EisnerAmper LLP has released, addressing income tax considerations and planning opportunities related to professional athletes, models and entertainers. Professionals from EisnerAmper LLP’s Sports, Media and Entertainment Practice also contribute to these articles.