Experts note that the pre-game madness may also deter tourists or business travelers who might ordinarily plan a visit to the host city.
In New York, some hotels realized by mid-autumn that the expected surge in bookings had not materialized, so they began to scale back, in some cases reducing required minimum stays from four nights to two and ending demands for non-refundable room deposits. Rates for the week leading up to the game, which had been at a premium, were dropped back to normal pricing.
Kate Martin, general manager of the Hotel Chandler in midtown Manhattan, said the hotel was only 50 percent booked during Super Bowl weekend, with fewer than usual bookings lined up for the week preceding the game.
"All of the anticipation and the hype about what this was going to bring for hotels in New York City has not materialized," she said.
Part of the problem lies in the tri-state area's large hotel room inventory, which at 150,000 rooms is at least triple the inventory seen in the past 10 Super Bowl host cities, said Adam Jones, a director at consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. That leaves more lodging options for visitors and makes it harder for hotels to jack up rates.
Still, some hoteliers are more sanguine about the prospect of a football-fueled revenue jump. Langham Place Hotel, a luxury hotel on Fifth Avenue, is approaching the Super Bowl like another holiday, with prices on par with New Year's Eve at about 20 percent higher than normal. As of two weeks before the big game, the hotel was not yet sold out, with 70 percent occupancy for the days leading up to the game.
"For us, it's a bit like another holiday," general manager Francois-Olivier Luiggi said. "Suddenly you throw another Thanksgiving in the middle of a cold winter."
Economists say that's the one bright spot for New York City: The months of January and February are usually the most sluggish tourism months of the year, so it's possible the game might provide a boost.
Another potential benefit — exposure — could also be muted. While prior host cities in less populated cities, such Indianapolis and Jacksonville, have been enticed by the chance to showcase themselves on a worldwide stage, there's no evidence that the game has any lasting brand impact for any city, said Smith College sports economist Andrew Zimbalist.
And in any case, more exposure isn't exactly something New York City needs.
"You can't say that a Super Bowl is going to put New York on the map," he said.