November 1, 2012

All-Star Game created $60 million in economic impact

The economic impact of this year’s All-Star Game in Kansas City came in pretty much as expected, just shy of $60 million.

The economic impact of this year’s All-Star Game in Kansas City came in pretty much as expected, just shy of $60 million.

Assistant City Manager Kimiko Gilmore released the numbers Thursday at the City Council’s weekly business meeting.

“It was a wonderful investment and we are reaping some wonderful benefits from that investment,” Councilwoman Jan Marcason said.

For the most part, though, those benefits are intangible. A University of Kansas study also released Thursday determined that Kansas Citians’ sense of well-being — they’re “psychic capital” — was much improved after the event. This was especially true among white men, according to KU professor Aaron Clopton.

Sales tax revenues, Gilmore said, were about $1 million more for the period than a year ago. That’s roughly what the city spent to get ready for the event and pay increased expenses during five days of All-Star Game-related events in July.

“Looks like we made some money. Looks like some people felt better about it,” is how Mayor Sly James summarized the two reports.

Another benefit comes from how the city will be perceived by convention planners from here on.

Mayoral aide Jay Hodges said Kansas City has proven itself to be capable of organizing and running a high-profile event like the All-Star Game. That should put the city in good stead when competing against other metro areas for business, he said.

“It showed anyone watching that we can handle a national convention event and do it well,” Councilwoman Jim Glover said.

After the event, the convention and visitors association began targeting some large gatherings, such at the National Rifle Association’s annual gathering, Hodges said.

.But despite the city’s impressive showing, James said, the NRA has ruled out Kansas City because of an insufficient number of hotel room. Civic leaders have long discussed the need for another large convention hotel downtown.

The economic impact for the 2012 All-Star Game was fairly typical for a small market like Kansas City.

According to Major League Baseball, the 2009 game in St. Louis generated $60 million, while the game in Anaheim, Calif., a year later generated $85 million in business.

Next year’s game at Citi Field is expected to have a $191 million positive impact on New York City’s economy, up from $148 million when the game was held across town at Yankees Stadium in 2008.

Based on sales tax receipts, Gilmore said, All-Star visitors spent $29.5 million at Kansas City hotels, restaurants and other businesses.

FanFest generated another $3.6 million in sales. The balance of the $58 million total —some $25.7 million — was spent on tickets. That number was not face value, but based on the average price of tickets sold as reported by Seat Geek, a website that monitors tickets sales by ticket re-sellers.

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