- The Washington Times - Monday, January 31, 2005

NEW YORK (UPI) — Global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., released projections yesterday that companies are likely to lose money because of the Super Bowl.

The firm said Sunday’s football game will cause a sharp drop in productivity among workers who spend extra time around the company water cooler discussing their favored teams.

The Chicago-based company warned companies that the financial damage from paying unproductive workers could reach as high as $1.1 billion.

The report estimated costs may be greater for employers located in the Eagles and Patriots marketsbecause salaries in the New England and Philadelphia-New Jersey-New York regions are, on average, 11 percent to 16 percent higher than the national average, based on Department of Labor regional data.

The firm based calculations on the estimated number of football fans in the workplace, the average annual income of those individual and the estimation they will spend at least 10 minutes a day focused on the game instead of work.

Roughly 86 million to 88 million Americans are expected to watch the Super Bowl pitting the Philadelphia Eagles against the defending champion New England Patriots.

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