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Sports and the Economy

Some say we're in recession, some say we're not (yet anyway). Meanwhile, the Cactus League is doing fine, thank you.

This season, Cactus League visitors are on track to eclipse the more than 1.27 million record fans in 2005, said Robert Brinton, Cactus League Association vice president.

He said that sports-related tourism seems more resistant to the ebbs of flows of the economy than other travel.

An increase in more locals attending games could also account for the strong turnout through the first half of the Cactus League.

The Chicago Cubs in Mesa, the perennial Cactus League leader at the box office, could set a record for average attendance, Brinton said.

The Cubs have drawn almost 11,000 fans per game the past two seasons.

Early evidence (i.e. dated papers that could be re-examined) indicates that attendance at sporting events is resilient to economic downturns. Recession or not, this story is consistent with that conclusion.