How Meetings Benefit from Sporting Events

major sporting event host cities

Are you ready for some…meetings? From football to baseball to figure skating and more, college, professional and amateur sports bring in a lot of dough and tourism to popular meeting destinations. When a city is preparing to host a sporting event, they invest in improving their infrastructure, building and renovating hotels and expanding their public transportation routes. These enhancements, plus the fact they are trusted cities to accommodate massive amounts of people, are attractive to meeting professionals to book the same locales.

Indianapolis

Last week, Visit Indy announced that Indianapolis was selected to host the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 10, 2022. The event will also utilize the Indiana Convention Center for a fan fest. The city is anticipating that the game and festivities surrounding it will bring in more than $150 million and 100,000 visitors to Central Indiana.

“Hosting this game will also ensure the 78,000 residents in our local hospitality industry will continue to earn a paycheck,” Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says in a press release.

Philadelphia

Fans follow their favorite college athletes into the pro league. Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) revealed that April’s NFL Draft generated an estimated $94.9 million for the City of Brotherly Love. Hotel reservations reached 18,991 booked room nights. Hotel revenue increased by 11 percent from the previous year during that same time period.

“We are thrilled that not only did it generate substantial economic activity for Philadelphia, but we were also successful in showing the world that this city is a premier destination for sports, big events and tourism in general,” Julie Coker Graham, PHLCVB president and CEO, says in a press release.

Houston

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest money-makers of them all. Whether your favorite team is playing or not, the allure of the Big Game draws in the crowds. Where the people are, the moolah will follow. The Super Bowl is also a great incentive trip, regardless whether you can get your hands on game tickets. There are so many events and activities going on, visitors will surely have the time of their lives.

According to the report, The Economic Impact of Super Bowl LI on Greater Houston, prepared for the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee in May 2017 by Rockport Analytics, 337,000-plus hotel room nights were booked in connection to the game. The game brought an estimated $428 million in new spending to the region. “Many visitors and meeting planners impressed with GH and Texas will return to build future tourism,” the study states.

Houston, which needs all the economic help it can get in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, is fresh off a World Series win. However, the Fall Classic does not bring nearly as much profit as its football counterpart. This is because the two designated cities hosting the World Series each October are selected at the last moment based on the hometowns of the teams participating, Patrick Jankowski, senior vice president of research for the Greater Houston Partnership, explained to Texas Monthly.

“Whatever financial benefit that comes to cities hosting a World Series, it comes as a sudden windfall,” Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com, tells FOX Business. “There’s not much time to plan, but you don’t have the crazy costs that go into bidding for a Super Bowl or Final Four.”

Omaha

This doesn’t mean that baseball as a sport isn’t a homerun for a city. The College World Series happens annually in Omaha, regardless of the teams playing in it. Jack Diesing, chairman of College World Series of Omaha Inc., estimated $70 million and 357,646 spectators for the 2017 tournament. “There’s no question that this is a record year for the economic impact and for the image of Omaha and Nebraska getting out across the country,” he tells the Omaha World-Herald.

Los Angeles

Metro, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, plans to expand rail service to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in 2023 and add a People Mover System to connect the terminals the following year. These ambitious goals contributed to the City of Angels winning the bid to host the 2028 Summer Olympic Games and Paralympics. Most host cities plan growth projects because of the Games, but Los Angeles is a unique scenario in that all these projects were in the works regardless of the Olympics coming to town.

In 2017 alone, L.A. added 3,000 new hotel rooms and has a total of 9,200 new rooms scheduled to open by 2020 in Downtown L.A., West Hollywood, Hollywood, LAX and Beverly Hills. These beds will be utilized by meeting professionals even sooner than when the Olympics roll into town. This new inventory is projected to generate 760,000 hotel room nights during the multi-week worldwide sporting event. Meet Los Angeles anticipates the local area to see a $11.2 billion benefit.

San Jose & Kansas City

Leading up to an Olympics, some of the sports’ governing bodies hold qualifying events to select the members of Team USA. Sharpen your blades because one such sport is figure skating. Seeking to capitalize on the popularity of the Olympic spirit, San Jose’s SAP Center will host the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships in January, one month ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The San Jose Sports Authority does not make predictions on the revenue the competition will accrue, but history shows that the same event earned $23 million for the city in 2012. Last year, the national championships took place in Kansas City, Missouri, which estimated an economic impact of $18.1 million.

“The Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships were instrumental to Kansas City’s success in 2017,” Visit KC president and CEO Ronnie Burt tells Smart Meetings. “Thousands of figure skating fans came to know what we’ve known all along—that Kansas City loves and supports its sporting events. From officials and athletes to fans and casual followers, KC was seen taking full advantage of its moment in the skating spotlight.”