Claim: As the big game draws near, legions of prostitutes flock to the city where the Super Bowl is being held.
Example:[KEPR-TV, February 2012]
Behind all the glitz and glamor of the Super Bowl, an estimated 10,000 prostitutes were brought to the 2010 game in Miami.
Origins: According to widely-believed lore, each year the city hosting the Super Bowl is inundated by an influx of prostitutes intent upon partaking of the big bucks brought to that town by hyped-up football fans looking for action well beyond that provided on the gridiron. As each annual Big Game approaches, the rumor surfaces anew that an unbelievably large number of "circuit girls" are
poised to descend upon that hapless burg, with sometimes as many as 100,000 ready and willing hookers asserted to be on their way.
It's a logical premise — many fans who turn up for the Big Game are long on cash and short on inhibition, and prostitution thrives on both the plenitude of the one and the relative lack of the other.
However, the facts don't conform to the hypothesis. While there is certainly prostitution in Super Bowl host cities during the week of the Big Game, that vice exists in those locales at other times too. The number of prostitution arrests don't go up all that much during the week culminating in the pigskin classic, if at all, certainly not nearly enough to confirm the presence of thousands, ten thousands, or maybe even one hundred thousand freshly-arrived ladies of the evening.
Super Bowl host cities that have braced for the arrival of legions of out-of-town prostitutes tend to discover that the law enforcement manpower expended on this front could have been put to more effective use elsewhere. For example:
For the 1998 Super Bowl, police in the host city of San Diego did not cancel vacations, switch to 12-hour shifts, nor form a task force to deal with prostitution because such measures were deemed unnecessary after that city's having hosted that event in 1988.
Said Phoenix police Sergeant Tommy Thompson after the 2008 Super Bowl: "We may have had certain precincts that were going gangbusters looking for prostitutes, but they were picking up your everyday street prostitutes. They didn't notice any sort of glitch in the number of prostitution arrests leading up to the Super Bowl."
Said Tampa police spokeswoman Andrea Davis after the 2009 Super Bowl: "We didn't see a huge influx in prostitutes coming into Tampa. The arrests were not a lot higher. They were almost the same."
Arlington, Texas, Deputy Chief Jaime Ayala reported after the 2011 Super Bowl that of the 59 people arrested on prostitution-related offenses, only 13 werenon-local sex trade workers.