Championship game may not boost Tampa Bay economy

Posted at 6:14 PM, Jan 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-09 19:28:43-05
Tens of thousands of fans are packing Raymond James Stadium, but are all these extra people actually helping our economy in Tampa Bay?
The Tampa Bay Sports Commission estimates hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact, citing two previous championships: $308 million in Dallas and $274 million in Phoenix.
USF Professor of Economics Philip Porter said,"It will be zero. I'm not saying it could be, it will be."
For more than 30 years, Porter has studied major sports events and the economy.
“In 6 or 8 Superbowls that I’ve covered, in two, three different Olympic events, and in FIFA world cup soccer that I’ve studied, the economic impact has always been zero,” Porter said.
Porter said money spent on hotels and restaurants doesn't stay in the community.
“While those people are spending the money here, they’re not buying things from us, they’re buying hotel rooms from owners that live in New York, they’re buying lap dances from girls that come from Las Vegas, they’re buying limousine services from someone who lives in Orlando,” Porter said.
He said, models used to come up with big impact numbers just aren't accurate. But the Sports Commission said, this kind of exposure is priceless.
“It’s an incredible opportunity, really limitless in terms of the return on investment,” Rob Higgins, Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission said.
We know Hillsborough County has invested at least $1 million.