Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Perspective on Tampa's 2017 BCS Championship Bid

Tampa scored a nice victory this week by landing the 2017 BCS college football championship {link to Times' site}.  This comes on the heels of a successful NCAA hockey Frozen Four bid and a string of other events planned for Tampa.

I've written previously about how these bids often offer big-money concessions to leagues to land the events, but apparently, it's more than worth it since the BCS Championship will bring thousands of jobs to Tampa Bay
Hagan said he expects the championship to be an economic boon to Tampa "in the range" of the Super Bowl, bringing somewhere between $250 million and $350 million to the area, along with approximately 1,700 to 1,800 full-time jobs.
I don't know how Hagan came up with these numbers and I don't know how the Times allowed that to go unchallenged. But Deadspin had the same questions:
If Hagan wants to explain how a single game, at a stadium that already exists, is going to create 1,700 full-time jobs, we're happy to listen.

There hasn't been a ton of research on the economic impact of hosting a big sporting event, but what there is isn't pretty. Since Hagan cited the Super Bowl, we'll cite Philip Porter's research that found the net local impact of six different Florida Super Bowls was effectively zero, with the money going to out-of-town hotel owners, and the events actively crowding out other businesses. Or Dennis Coates's and Brad Humphreys's study showing no change in per capita income in Super Bowl host cities. Slightly more optimistically, there's Robert Baade's and Victor Matheson's study of 25 Super Bowls that found the NFL overstated the economic influx by a factor of 10, and local politicians exaggerated even more.
The good news for Hagan - even if the printed quote was missing proper context - is those numbers will likely be repeated over and over the next three years.

Regardless, we hope the BCS Championship will be a good thing for Tampa, at least bringing a nice little retail boost - and lots of "heads in beds" - on New Year's week 2017.  And another tip of the cap to Rob Higgins, the man behind the bids for the Tampa Bay Sports Commission.  He told the Times the bid's social media strategy was a large part of its success.

It's just too bad we may never know everything that was included in the bid.  Like how many public resources, tax breaks, and other concessesions were offered to get the game.


  1. This kind of taxpayer fleecing will continue until folks rise up from the "oh wow, we're big time!" immature mentality to the difficult but mature level of holding types like Hagan & Higgins accountable for how they shanghai public assets/services to enhance their standing in the big-time sports mob. Sports sheep aren't that strong yet.

  2. Why is it not pubic record as to what is included in the bid, including how many public resources, tax breaks, and other concessions were offered to get the game, seeing as how the game is being played in RayJay, a stadium fully funded by we taxpayers?

    The 'for sure' winner of this deal are the Glazers, who will be able to get increased sales of Club Suites and sponsorships because of all of the PRESTIGE associated with hosting the NCAA FB 2017 championship game.

  3. ? Another BIG event for the stadium that "the people of Hillsborough co. lost so much money on", huh? Yinz don't make sense to me either. Maybe I been the right this whole time, that city investment in sports venues is not an instant gratification investment. Maybe it'll take another 2 Super Bowls, 10 Bowl games, 20 big concerts, 40 Buccaneers & Bulls, and maybe a few more big events like the wheel chair games before people start grasping the real progressive truth behind the economics of owning a football stadium. "Jacksonville called, they wanted the revenues from hosting the 17' NCAA Championship"...