Forget about the Super Bowl.

Actually, let me qualify that statement a bit. If you bleed black and gold, you're free to celebrate all you want this week. Arizona fans can cry in their beers over a missed chance to make history. But to an investor, it didn't matter one iota. Neither will the next one.

The Bowl ain't big enough
The Big Game in 2011 will be played less than seven miles from American Airlines parent AMR (NYSE:AMR) headquarters in Arlington, Texas. Airline executives may have skybox tickets to that game, but their business won't change much.

Conventional wisdom says that large sporting events pump millions of dollars into the local economy. Fans and journalists fly in by the 747-load, selling out hotel rooms and rental cars months in advance. Yet while Marriott (NYSE:MAR) runs at least three hotels within five miles of that stadium, its corporate headquarters are in Maryland -- more than 1,000 miles away.

Speaking of 747s, the Dallas-Fort Worth airport will shuttle tens of thousands of extra passengers around that event, and it's American's central hub. Score! Right?

Um, no. DFW already handles more than 160,000 passengers daily -- enough to fill that fancy new stadium twice over. It's just a drop in the bucket.

The real opportunities are too small
And the local businesses that really could cash in on an event of the Super Bowl's magnitude are often not public. Maybe you know the owner of a mom-and-pop hotel or restaurant across the street from the stadium site, and the owners want you to invest in their family business. They might see some real gains, but for the McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) next door and Domino's (NYSE:DPZ) locations in the same neighborhood, it just won't move their parent companies' needles any significant amount.

So, forget about investing in sporting events. The Olympics might matter, thanks to the infrastructure upgrades and global exposure they bring. But short of that, you're better off looking for great investments the traditional way: sifting great management and unique business plans from the morass of would-be greats and also-rans.

The Super Bowl, the World Series, and NBA finals all are great events, and they do have some impact on local business in the host cities. But that doesn't mean you should stuff your portfolio with Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) stock if Paul Brown Stadium gets picked to host Super Bowl XLVII.

Further Foolishness:

The Fool owns shares of Procter & Gamble. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here, and he cares a lot more for his 'Noles than for the local Bucs. You can check out Anders' holdings or a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.