Indy should cheer for Jets and Bears, Badgers and Huskers

September 26, 2011
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Gauging the economic impact of any sporting event is tricky.

When it’s uncertain who the teams will be, it’s even trickier.

Most economists and sports business experts would agree the economic impact of the Super Bowl and Big Ten Football Championship will be considerable.

Estimates peg the economic impact of the Big Ten Championship at $17 million to $20 million. The Super Bowl is much larger, with an economic impact of $300 million to $450 million.

The more savvy sports business followers will tell you that the teams that play in those games will have a major impact on the visitor spending those events bring to the host city.

Lucas Oil Stadium will host the Big Ten Championship in December and the Super Bowl in February. In this week’s IBJ print edition, Robert Tuchman, whose New York-based company has handled corporate entertainment at scores of Super Bowls, estimated that the economic impact on Indianapolis could swing more than 30 percent depending on the teams that play.

Most sports business experts surveyed by IBJ agreed that the best teams to make it from the NFC would be the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys.

The Bears and Lions are ideal due to their proximity to Indianapolis. Detroit also is good because it has never played in a Super Bowl, and the theory is that many Lions fans would come to Indianapolis just to experience the atmosphere even if they couldn’t get tickets. And as Tuchman pointed out, they eat in Indy’s restaurants, shop in our stores and sleep in our hotels whether they go to the game or not.

Mark Rosentraub, a dean at the University of Michigan, said that if the Lions make the Super Bowl, half the state of Michigan would drive down to Indianapolis.

The Bears and Cowboys would be good teams because they have national followings. Also, the Cowboys haven’t been to a Super Bowl since 1996, and Big D is hungry for a winner.

Demographics, too, are key, and there are plenty of wealthy people in Chicago and Dallas. That element probably hurts Detroit a bit with the auto industry fallout.

The AFC is a little trickier.

The consensus is the New York Jets would be the best team. First, because New York is so big, the Jets have a huge following. There’s also lots of money in New York, and on top of that, the Jets haven’t been to the Super Bowl since 1969.

While there’s money in New England, Patriots fans spoiled by four Super Bowls in the last decade simply don’t travel like fans for other AFC hopefuls, and people in that New England region aren’t likely to come to Indy in February—certainly not without tickets just to enjoy the atmosphere.

Baltimore fans traveled in droves to Tampa when the Ravens made the Super Bowl in 2001. But there’s still a big question about whether Ravens fans would to travel to Indy, the city that stole its beloved Colts. Most sports business experts think Ravens fans would overlook the Colts history for a shot to see the Ravens in the big game again.

As witnessed Sunday night, Pittsburgh fans have no hesitation to make the drive to Indy for a football game, and the Steelers have a national following. But since the Steelers made the Super Bowl last year, that takes a little polish off that possibility.

So if Indianapolis’ tourism and hospitality industry were rooting for Super Bowl contenders based merely on economic impact, everyone from bar managers to bell hops might be decked out in green and white or blue and orange.

As for the Big Ten Championship game, one local tourism official told me red might be the color to cheer for.

A match-up between Wisconsin and Nebraska has a lot of people in Indianapolis pretty excited right now—from an economic impact perspective.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Gay marriage is coming, whether or not these bigots and zealots like it or not. We must work to ensure future generations remember the likes of Greg Zoeller like they do the racists of our past...in shame.

  2. Perhaps a diagram of all the network connections of all politicians to their supporters and those who are elite/wealthy and how they have voted on bills that may have benefited their supporters. The truth may hurt, but there are no non-disclosures in government.

  3. I'm sure these lawyers were having problems coming up with any non-religious reason to ban same-sex marriage. I've asked proponents of this ban the question many times and the only answers I have received were religious reasons. Quite often the reason had to do with marriage to a pet or marriage between a group even though those have nothing at all to do with this. I'm looking forward to less discrimination in our state soon!

  4. They never let go of the "make babies" argument. It fails instantaneously because a considerable percentage of heterosexual marriages don't produce any children either. Although if someone wants to pass a law that any couple, heterosexual or homosexual, cannot be legally married (and therefore not utilize all legal, financial, and tax benefits that come with it) until they have produced a biological child, that would be fun to see as a spectator. "All this is a reflection of biology," Fisher answered. "Men and women make babies, same-sex couples do not... we have to have a mechanism to regulate that, and marriage is that mechanism." The civil contract called marriage does NOTHING to regulate babymaking, whether purposefully or accidental. These conservatives really need to understand that sex education and access to birth control do far more to regulate babymaking in this country. Moreover, last I checked, same-sex couples can make babies in a variety of ways, and none of them are by accident. Same-sex couples often foster and adopt the children produced by the many accidental pregnancies from mixed-sex couples who have failed at self-regulating their babymaking capabilities.

  5. Every parent I know with kids from 6 -12 has 98.3 on its car radio all the time!! Even when my daughter isn't in the car I sometimes forget to change stations. Not everybody wants to pay for satellite radio. This will be a huge disappointment to my 9 year old. And to me - there's so many songs on the radio that I don't want her listening to.

ADVERTISEMENT