Most New Jersey residents feel proud that the Garden State is playing host to this year's NFL championship game, and nearly 3-in-4 think a New Jersey Super Bowl will be good for their home state. These are the findings of the latest Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll.
Six in ten (60%) Garden State residents say it makes them proud that their home state is hosting the country's most watched sporting event, compared to 34% who say they don't feel any particular pride in having a New Jersey Super Bowl. Giant's fans (75%) and Jets fans (70%) are more likely than Eagles fans (61%) and fans of other teams (60%) to express a feeling of pride that New Jersey is hosting this year's Super Bowl. Among the 3-in-10 New Jerseyans who aren't fans of any NFL team, more say they don't feel any particular sense of pride (49%) to host Super Bowl XLVIII than say they are proud (40%).
Regardless of their football fan status, residents of North Jersey (65%) and Central Jersey (65%) are more likely than those in South Jersey (48%) to feel proud to host the game.
"These regional differences aren't too surprising. To southern New Jerseyans, the state isn't holding the Super Bowl as much as it is the home of the Giants and Jets that is playing host," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
The poll, which was conducted in December before the regular season had ended, asked New Jersey residents if they knew where this year's Super Bowl would be played. Nearly 2-in-3 could give an accurate location off the top of their head, with 20% naming Met Life Stadium, 17% the Meadowlands, 13% Giants Stadium, and 3% East Rutherford. Another 8% named New Jersey and 2% named New York as the host of this year's game.
About 8-in-10 Jets (86%) or Giants (79%) fans could name the location, compared to about 7-in-10 fans of the Eagles (66%) or other teams (71%). Among non-fans 4-in-10 (41%) could name this year's Super Bowl location. "The fact that a significant number of New Jerseyans who do not follow football are aware the Super Bowl is being held in their state underscores the significance of this event," said Murray.
Nearly 3-in-4 (73%) New Jerseyans believe hosting the Super Bowl will be good for the state. About 1-in-4 (24%) say it will make no difference and only 1% believes it will be bad for the state. Opinion that the game will be good for the Garden State is shared by those in the northern (73%), central (71%), and southern (75%) regions.
"I tend to agree with the minority who think it will make no difference to New Jersey, at least in economic terms. Many of the economic impact studies sponsored by the NFL and its supporters are overly inflated because they count all spending associated with the Super Bowl as the economic impact. These studies fail to account for visitor point of origin, impact region, money leakages and displacement, all of which lower the estimated impact of mega events like the Super Bowl. They also do not account for the costs of holding the event, which are substantial," said Dr. Patrick O'Halloran, Associate Professor of Economics at Monmouth University's Leon Hess Business School.
When it comes to media coverage of the big game, most Garden State residents (55%) think New Jersey will receive its fair share of media attention while 41% think the state will be overshadowed by New York. Among those who say New Jersey would be overshadowed, 58% say the lack of media coverage will not bother them at all, compared to 15% who say it will bother them a lot and 26% who say it will bother them a little.
"Many of the events that are being promoted before the game are being held in or around New York City and not necessarily in New Jersey. I hope that it is a success for both states but the dynamic of New York City will certainly overshadow New Jersey. But I worry that if either the weather or traffic situation is poor, New Jersey will take the brunt of the blame," said Matthew Harmon, instructor in Monmouth University's Sports Communication Program.
Almost 6-in-10 (57%) New Jerseyans are interested in this year's big game, including 29% who are very interested and 28% who are somewhat interested. Another 10% are not very interested and one-third (34%) are not at all interested. At the time the poll was taken in early December, 80% of Jets fans and 77% of Eagles fans said they were interested in the Super Bowl. They were joined by 68% of Giants fans - who had been eliminated from playoff contention while the poll was being conducted - and 74% of New Jersey fans of other NFL franchises.
Among Garden State residents who do not root for any team, just 19% are interested in the game. This interest level doesn't vary much regardless of whether these non-fans know the game will be played in their home state (23%) or are not aware of the location (16%).
The poll also asked New Jerseyans to name their favorite NFL team. Giants fans reign supreme, as 31% identify Big Blue as their favorite professional football team. The Eagles are the Garden State's second favorite team (14%), followed by the Jets (8%). Other popular teams include the Cowboys (5%), Steelers (2%), and Patriots (2%). Another 30% of New Jerseyans do not have a favorite NFL team. These results are nearly identical to a poll taken in February 2012.
The Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll was conducted by telephone with 802 New Jersey adults from December 4 to 8, 2013. This sample has a margin of error of ± 3.5 percent. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute and originally published by the Asbury Park Press and its sister publications (Courier-Post, Courier News, Daily Journal, Daily Record, and Home News Tribune).
The questions referred to in this release are as follows:
1. How interested are you in this season’s Super Bowl game – very, somewhat, not very, or not at all?
2. The Super Bowl will be held on February 2nd. Do you happen to know where it will be held? [If YES: “Where is that?” LIST WAS NOT READ]
3. The Super Bowl will be held at Met Life Stadium in the Meadowlands, home to the Giants and Jets. Does it make you feel proud as a state resident that the Super Bowl will be held in New Jersey, or not particularly proud?
4. Overall, do you think hosting the Super Bowl will be good for New Jersey, bad for New Jersey, or will it make no difference to the state?
5. Do you think New Jersey will get its fair share of media attention compared to New York City during the Super Bowl, or not?
[The following question was asked only of people who said NO in Q5: moe=+/-5.5%]
6. Will the lack of media attention on New Jersey bother you a lot, a little, or not at all?
7. In professional football, are you normally a fan of the Giants, the Jets, the Eagles, some other team, or no team at all?
The Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from December 4 to 8, 2013 with a statewide random sample of 802 adult residents, including 602 contacted via live interview on a landline telephone and 200 via live interview on a cell phone. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey questionnaire design, data weighting and analysis. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Sampling error increases as the sample size decreases, so statements based on various population subgroups, such as separate figures reported by gender or party identification, are subject to more error than are statements based on the total sample. In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.
Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.
Download this Poll Report with all tables