By Ben Boldt
|Upcoming events |
Sept 7-8: RCTC Volleyball Invitational
Oct. 13-14: MYSA fall state soccer tournament
Oct 19-20: Exchange Volleyball Tournament
If you are a parent and have ever taken your young athlete to an out-of-town tournament, you probably felt like all you did was watch games and spend money. And it certainly can be an expensive endeavor at times.
The money that parents and others spend at tournaments can translate into quite an impact on a community. Recently, we hosted the ASA Northern National softball tournament and I was asked by a few of our local partners what the economic impact was that this type of event brought to our city. The short answer I gave them was that it was a nice economic boost to our community and I would put together some numbers so they could have something more concrete.
We had 77 teams from nine states across the Midwest in Rochester on Aug. 2-5. We used 13 fields in total, including McQuillan Softball Complex, RYFSA Softball Complex, Mayo High School and Century High School. With this knowledge I knew the data should be good and I think you'll agree that the following numbers are impressive.
We worked with the Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau to tally the number of hotel rooms rented during the event. The latest total is 2,343 room-nights. The estimated average hotel room rate was $88, so the money spent on hotel room-nights (including taxes and fees) was over $200,000.
Visitors to our city also spent money on food, gas, entertainment and shopping. National averages that factor in these additional expenditures tell us that visitors spend approximately $214 per hotel room night rented. Using the 2,343 room-nights rented, that would put the direct spending impact on the city of Rochester at over $500,000.
A more than half-million dollar direct spending impact on a girls softball tournament, now that's pretty remarkable, to me anyway.
We can also add the tournament budget to the direct spending economic impact. Items like team entry fees, admission fees, concessions and merchandise provide the income needed to offset the approximately $60,000 in expenses that rack up over the tournament weekend. The Sports Commission is happy to pay expenses like field prep labor and supplies, awards, scorekeepers, umpires, program and sign printing, athletic trainers, security, etc., primarily to local Rochester vendors. We are proud to do our part to keep local business viable and vibrant.
Others often take these economic impact numbers a step further by adding a multiplier to represent how many times a dollar will circulate within a community. For example a hotel pays their employees, who then go out and use that money to buy groceries or fill up their car with gas.
While these estimates can be pretty accurate, we prefer to stick with the direct spending numbers because we can more accurately track the dollars that were spent by these visitors than attempt to track the times a dollar circulates in our local community.
We have great hotel partners who report their rooms rented for an event to us. And we've heard from several restaurants that had a nice bump to their usual business from these teams. In addition to hotels and restaurants, we also observed other businesses like the Kwik Trip on Marion Road that had a constant flow of customers as teams made their way to and from the softball fields.
This was a solid increase to their usual business to be sure. These all add up to make a different in the local economics of Rochester.Amateur Update is a weekly column on amateur sports activities in southeastern Minnesota, provided by the Rochester Amateur Sports Commission.