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Big Men on Campus: Estimating the Economic Impact of College Sports on Local Economies

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Baade

    () (Department of Economics and Business, Lake Forest College)

  • Robert Baumann

    () (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

  • Victor Matheson

    () (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

Abstract

College football and men’s basketball are the largest revenue generators in college athletics. Studies funded by athletic boosters tout the economic benefits of a college athletic program as an incentive for host cities to construct new stadiums or arenas at considerable public expense. Our analysis of the economic impact of home football and men’s basketball games on Tallahassee (home of Florida State University) and Gainesville (home of the University of Florida) between 1980 to early-2007 fails to support these claims. Men’s basketball games at these universities have no statistically significant impact on taxable sales, while football yields a modest gain of $2 to $3 million per home game. While this positive finding is one of the first in the academic literature of the impact of sports, these gains pale in comparison to the figures in many of the studies funded by athletic boosters.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Baade & Robert Baumann & Victor Matheson, 2007. "Big Men on Campus: Estimating the Economic Impact of College Sports on Local Economies," Working Papers 0704, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hcx:wpaper:0704
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    File URL: http://web.holycross.edu/RePEc/hcx/HC0704-Matheson-Baade-Baumann_CollegeSports.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Victor Matheson & Robert Baade, 2004. "Padding Required: Assessing the Economic Impact of the Super Bowl," Working Papers 0403, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    2. John J. Siegfried & Andrew Zimbalist, 2000. "The Economics of Sports Facilities and Their Communities," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, pages 95-114.
    3. Robert A. Baade & Robert Baumann & Victor A. Matheson, 2008. "Selling the Game: Estimating the Economic Impact of Professional Sports through Taxable Sales," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 794-810, January.
    4. Dennis Coates, 2006. "The Tax Benefits of Hosting the Super Bowl and the MLB All-Star Game: The Houston Experience," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 1(4), pages 239-252, November.
    5. Dennis Coates & Brad R. Humphreys, 1999. "The growth effects of sport franchises, stadia, and arenas," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(4), pages 601-624.
    6. Robert Baade & Robert Baumann & Victor Matheson, 2006. "The Economic Consequences of Professional Sports Strikes and Lockouts: Revisited," Working Papers 0604, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    7. Coates, Dennis & Humphreys, Brad R., 2003. "The effect of professional sports on earnings and employment in the services and retail sectors in US cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 175-198, March.
    8. Robert Baade & Robert Baumann & Victor Matheson, 2005. "Selling the Big Game: Estimating the Economic Impact of Mega-Events through Taxable Sales," Working Papers 0510, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    9. Dennis Coates & Craig A. Depken, II, 2006. "Mega-Events: Is the Texas-Baylor game to Waco what the Super Bowl is to Houston?," Working Papers 0606, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
    10. Dennis Coates & Brad R. Humphreys, 2002. "The Economic Impact of Postseason Play in Professional Sports," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(3), pages 291-299, August.
    11. Robert A. Baade & Victor A. Matheson, 2001. "Home Run or Wild Pitch?," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 2(4), pages 307-327, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Philip K. Porter & Daniel M. Chin, 2012. "Economic Impact of Sports Events," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Mega Sporting Events, chapter 15 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Gabriel M. AHLFELDT & Arne FEDDERSEN, 2010. "Geography Of A Sports Metropolis," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, pages 11-36.
    3. Bernard F. Lentz & David N. Laband, 2008. "The Impact of College Athletics on Employment in the Restaurant and Accommodations Industries," Working Papers 0803, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    sports; basketball; football; college sports; impact analysis; mega-event;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R53 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Public Facility Location Analysis; Public Investment and Capital Stock

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