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.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.
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.
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.