Great reporting from Anna Orso and Mark Dent over at Billy Penn today. They looked at the $80 million economic impact stat thrown around by the city and NFL for the NFL Draft and then talked to experts who believe it’ll be nowhere near that… and more like $8 million:
In revising the Chicago information for Philly, the CVB said it didn’t take into account any potential loss of revenue from people avoiding the Parkway or the city entirely because of draft-related festivities, or traffic problems and other headaches caused by the construction and traffic closures during the weeks before the draft. Economists expect these things to occur, and if they do, the 200,000 money-spending NFL fans could merely be replacing money that would have been spent by others.
Robert Baumann, an economist who has studied the economics of big events, told Billy Penn in 2015 disruptions are “real costs,” because, “less business is getting done.”
Evjen said while “some displacement likely occurs,” it’s “fairly small” compared to visitor spending in total.
“There’s the question of: ‘Is it really displaced? Or is it just shifting?’” he said. “Instead of coming this weekend, you might come next weekend. Visitors stayed away during the papal visit during the weekend, then October turned into one of the best months we’ve ever had.”
The $80 million number, according to the report, comes from direct spending, business-to-business spending (event hosting), and super indirect third-party spending, like a server taking the money they earned working an event and then spending it. Derp.
Experts also called BS on the 26,000 jobs number, because most, if not all, jobs created by the draft are very short-term and not actually, you know, jobs.
The city used Temple University to help with the study. They based their estimates on seemingly cherry-picked numbers from the draft’s impact in Chicago.
This isn’t new. Almost every big event, particularly sporting events – HEY, OLYMPICS! – claim massive economic impact numbers that fall way short of expectations and then leave behind decaying piles of steel that become a wildlife sanctuary for rats and Hep B. The NFL presumably won’t leave behind its temporary theater, but it may also not leave behind much cash either.
Good read here.