College bowl-game revenue makes Florida economy a winner

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No matter what team wins in the first-ever college football playoffs, there will be one true champion – Florida.

Postseason bowl games expect to bring millions in extra revenue to state and local economies, according to “Touchdowns, Tackles, And Tax Revenue,” a new Economic Commentary from nonprofit public policy research institute Florida TaxWatch.

Florida is hosting eight out of the 38 bowl games, more than any other state, in the 2014 Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) National Championship season.

“For 80 uninterrupted years, Florida has welcomed fans across the nation to the Sunshine State for postseason bowl games, including Championship Games,” said Florida TaxWatch CEO Dominic Calabro. “Bowl games give Florida an incredible opportunity to show off our vibrant communities and impeccable attractions and resources.”

In addition, seven of the eight bowl games played in Florida this season feature two out-of-state teams. The only local school to participate in a Sunshine State bowl game is the University of Central Florida.

What this means is that 15 schools and their fans will be visiting the Sunshine State possibly for the first time.

For the 2011-2012 Capital One Bowl and Champs Sports Bowl held in Orlando, TaxWatch estimates visitors spent nearly $5.61 million on accommodations, $3.74 million for food and dining, and increased attendance at both Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Parks. Hosting four out-of-state teams, the economic impact of Orlando Bowl Week was estimated at between $70.9 million and $88.6 million.

The 2012-2013 Orange Bowl, which held the last BCS National Championship, brought in $298.1 million, including $127 million in direct spending, and $4.9 million in tax revenue.

In Tampa Bay, the Outback Bowl this year could have an economic impact of up to $40 million.

“Florida residents should be excited to welcome this year’s out-of-state postseason bowl game fans,” Calabro added. “When fans come to watch their teams play, they also pay, which enables Florida taxpayers to continue experiencing low tax rates.”

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Photo: Courtesy Florida TaxWatch

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.