Arizona sports tourism boosts economic growth
Sports tourism has given Arizona’s economy a vital boost. Tom Sadler, president of the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority (AZSTA), told KTAR News 92.3 during an industry conference on Tuesday that sports tourism in Arizona generated $1.3 billion in economic impact over the last three years.
Hosting major sporting events at the University of Phoenix Stadium in recent years, such as the Super Bowl in 2015, the College Football Playoff Championship in 2016 and the Final Four in 2017, delivered economic benefits to Arizona, according to a report. The city also produced $1.6 billion from other events every year, including Cactus League baseball, Waste Management Phoenix Open golf, NASCAR races and college football bowl games.
In addition to sports tourism, Arizona sees significant growth in terms of overall tourism. Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT), the government’s business site that examines the economic impacts of the travel industry in the state, found that nearly 44 million people who visited Arizona last year spent more than $22 billion in the state.
The tourism industry collected the money spent by guests and generated $3.37 in 2017 tax revenue, reduces the annual tax burden for every Arizona household by $1,293. The money spent on tourism is utilized to support the industry jobs, according to AOT’s report.
“Three billion dollars of that money is tax revenue that goes into our economies, then is spent on public safety and health services and education,” Debbie Johnson, the office’s executive director, noted, according to the Phoenix, Arizona-based radio station on Tuesday.
Johnson noted that the slow tourism season usually occurs from November to December. She also said the summer tourism in Phoenix and Tucson is getting slower but it is not the case anymore. The weather is not the only reason why people come to visit Arizona, according to Sadler. Over time, the organization brings people together for lasting-long and memorable event experiences.
Last week, AZSTA announced the appointment of Scarlett Spring as a new chair. Spring is excited to work with the company that focuses on enhancing the AZSTA’s economy and community’s quality of life through tourism promotion. The other new leadership appointees are Doug Yonko who is elected as vice chair, and Teddy Eynon who is elected as secretary, Phoenix Business Journal reported.
Photo: NCAA Final Four 2017 (via ForTheWin/USA Today)