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Super Bowl impact numbers

I have not seen the study, but here are some figures, as reported by Tom Walsh in the Detroit Free Press:

Each out-of-town visitor spent $363 a day on average, not including airfares, lodging or tickets to the game.

The biggest beneficiaries of Super Bowl spending were the region's hotels, the casinos and other entertainment spots, and food and drink providers. Among them, these businesses took in 54% of the $170 million in direct spending by out-of-town visitors, according to the study by Sportsimpacts, a research firm run by Patrick Rishe, an economics professor at Webster University in St. Louis.

The overall economic impact figure of $273.9 million is greater than the direct spending by visitors because it includes the pass-along effects of extra spending by Detroit-area businesses and employees who quickly re-spent the extra money they took in from visiting Super Bowl fans ...

That's a modest multiplier, which lends some credibility to the figures. But I'm not sure what to make of the notion that businesses "quickly respent" their revenues. And $363 in the absence of lodging? I would not be surprised if survey respondents did not convert correctly from a per family/group to a per capita basis. But maybe the excess was just spent on strippers. Bring the Super Bowl to town! Benefit you local stripper community!!

Seriously though, it is clear that having the game in a cold-weather city displaces fewer would-be visitors than is the case in say, Miami:

On Super Bowl weekend, the Detroit-area hotels sampled by Smith Travel Research of Hendersonville, Tenn., reported occupancy rates of 82% on Friday, 92% on Saturday and 88% on Sunday. On the comparable weekend a year ago, those hotels were only 45%, 48% and 33% full on average.

What's more, the average hotel room rate on Super Bowl weekend was $210 a night this year; triple the $70 per night for the same weekend a year ago.

Those price differences and occupancy rates are a clear sign that the Marriott, Hilton, etc. enjoyed a healthy windfall from the game being played in Detriot. But the commentary on this issue remains just plain silly. Surely Professor Rishe would not conclude his analysis as Mr. Walsh did, with the statement that "Whether one uses the largest so-called gross impact number or the most conservative net impact estimate, Detroit's return on the $265,000 spent on presenting the Super Bowl bid was at least 500 to 1." Let's at least account for the true costs, Tom!

I'd welcome any discussion in the comments section, and thanks to Jahn Hakes for the tip.

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