Down, Set, Hike: The Economic Impact of College Football Games on Local Economies
This paper provides an empirical examination of the economic impact of spectator sports on local economies. Confirming the results of other ex post analyses of sports in general, this paper finds no statistically significant evidence that college football games in particular contribute positively to a host’s economy. Our analysis from 1970-2004 of 63 metropolitan areas that play host to big-time college football programs finds that neither the number of home games played, the winning percentage of the local team, nor winning a national championship has a discernable impact on either employment or personal income in the cities where the teams play. While successful college football teams may bring fame to their alma mater, fortune appears to be a bit more elusive.
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