February 10, 2011
The fans inside Cowboys Stadium for Super Bowl XLV had as good a view of the flyover by four F-18 fighter jets as those watching at home. With the roof closed on Jerry Jones’ $1.2 billion stadium, people in attendance were forced to watch the flyover on the massive high-def screens inside.
A Dallas TV reporter estimated that the flyover cost the Navy a total of $450,000. His total includes gas, operational costs and air time for the four F-18s, which traveled from Virginia to Texas for the event. The Navy told CNBC that their official records only tallies the amount spent on gas, which came out to $109,000 for the Super Bowl flights.
Even if we call it somewhere in between, the Navy still spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money for a few seconds of camera time. It’s like an old riddle: If four planes fly over a stadium and nobody insides sees, is it worth the cost?