NBA All-Star Weekend Economic Influence
Written by Ryan Hickman
If you have walked around downtown Salt Lake City recently, you’d come across ginormous signs advertising the NBA. But not just advertisements for the local Utah Jazz, but for the annual pinnacle of NBA events: the 2023 All-Star Game. This annual event envelopes whichever city hosts the events, which include a slam dunk contest, a skills challenge, and a celebrity competition that fills 3 full days of action.
With so much attention drawn to Salt Lake and Vivint Arena this time of year, one must wonder: What kind of economic impact can the NBA All-Star game have on the host city? Is there a great economic boom for hosting?
More Than a Game: A Weekend Celebration
The NBA All-Star game is one of the most anticipated events in the world of sports. Since 1951, this event has brought together the best overall players from their NBA Team for a showcase of skills. As the years have passed, the NBA has grown the celebration by hosting several other contests in conjunction with the main event. These include dunk contests, 3-point shooting contests, and celebrity charity games.
In more recent years, the All-Star Weekend has included a rising stars challenge, providing G-League players with the opportunity to play in front of the league’s best. For example, they’ve even adopted a target score, so that points decide the outcome of the competition. This year, the rising stars challenge was played to the target score of 40 points, with a tournament style format of 4 teams.
All these related events generate a lot of excitement among basketball fans, which can make an immense impact on the economy of the host city.
Why Host? The Advantages of Increased Business
Customers and Clients
One of the most significant economic benefits of hosting the NBA All-Star game is the influx of visitors to the host city. The event attracts basketball fans from all over the world who come to watch the game live. These visitors bring a significant amount of money into the city as they spend on transportation, accommodation, food, and souvenirs.
According to a report by the National Basketball Association, the 2019 All-Star game held in Charlotte, North Carolina, generated an estimated $100 million in economic impact for the city. the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend, held in Cleveland, produced a direct net economic benefit to the city of a stunning $141 million, part of $248.9 million in total economic impact.*
And the 2023 NBA All-Star Weekend could boost Utah’s economy by $250M+.*
Site Resources and Team Opportunities
Hosting these All-Star games also creates job opportunities for the locals. The event requires a lot of planning and investment, and as such, it requires an increase of workers to make it work. With celebrities and league officials in town, hotels and venues require enhanced security.
From concession personnel to transportation and hospitality staff, the event creates job opportunities for people living in the host city. These jobs provide income security for the locals and help to boost the local economy.
Another economic benefit of the NBA All-Star Weekend is the increase in tourism revenue. The event creates a lot of buzz around the host city, and this attracts tourists who want to experience the excitement of the game and explore the city. The influx of tourists generates revenue for the local tourism industry, including hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
Additionally, the exposure that the city gets from hosting the All-Star game can help to attract more tourists in the future, which will provide a long-term economic benefit for the city.
Professional Business Space
The NBA All-Star games also provide an opportunity for professional businesses to increase their sales. The influx of visitors to the host city creates an increased demand for goods and services, and local businesses can take advantage of this to increase their sales. Restaurants, bars, and retail stores are some of the businesses that benefit from the increased foot traffic in the city surrounding the event.
Additionally, the exposure that the city gets from hosting the event can help to attract more businesses to the area, which will provide a long-term economic impact for the city.
More than the City: The Ripple-Effect of Economic Activity
However, it is worth noting that the economic impact of hosting the NBA All-Star Weekend is not limited to the host city. The event has a ripple effect on the surrounding regions and even the entire country. The influx of visitors to the host city creates a demand for goods and services, and businesses in neighboring cities and towns can also benefit from this increased demand.
For instance, transportation companies that provide services to and from the host city can see an increase in their revenues during the All-Star game. This inflow can create additional opportunities for nearby companies to access larger markets.
What could go wrong? The Downsides of Hosting
The Cost Associated with Hosting
Despite the economic benefits of this prestigious event, there are also some potential downsides that need to be considered. One of the main concerns is the cost of hosting the event. The host city is responsible for providing the necessary infrastructure and resources to ensure the event is a success. This can be a significant financial burden on the host city, and it is important to weigh the potential benefits against the costs of hosting the event.
The costs can run into the millions of dollars, and in some cases, exceed the economic benefits of the event. These costs can be borne by the host city’s taxpayers or by private sponsors, depending on the agreements made between the NBA and the host city. Additionally, there is always the risk that unexpected expenses may arise, such as emergency medical services or damage to public property, which can further increase the costs of hosting the event.
Fiscal Position of Small Business
Another potential downside of hosting the NBA All-Star weekend is the impact it can have on local businesses that are not directly involved in the event. For instance, the influx of travelers to the host city can lead to increased traffic and crowds, which can make it difficult for residents and businesses to go about their daily activities. These previously online consumers could overrun local stores, rather than relying on established website avenues.
Additionally, the increased demand for goods and services during the All-Star Weekend can lead to price increases, which can make it difficult for locals to afford the things they need. This stress on consumers could manage to uproot unique and innovative companies, becoming a symbolic tipping point in their professional careers.
The worst-case scenario would be a complete interruption of business following the event due to the overwhelming demand.
Salt Lake City: The Market for Growth
While it may be too soon to tell if hosting the 2023 All-Star Weekend was a success, research suggests that Salt Lake City should expect a great deal of growth following the events. The city is alive, and being selected as the site for hosting this year’s All-Star Game is huge. Only a successful league championship by the Utah Jazz team would compare with how electric the city is right now!
The All-Star weekend is expected to generate millions of dollars in revenue for the city, as visitors will spend money on accommodation, food, transportation, and entertainment. Local businesses such as restaurants, hotels, and retailers are likely to see an uptick in sales, as they cater to the needs of the thousands of people coming to the city.
In addition to the immediate economic benefits, hosting the All-Star Game is likely to leave a long-term positive impact on the city’s economy. The event will put Salt Lake City on the map as a destination for major sports events, drawing attention to the city’s amenities, infrastructure, and professional offerings.
This increased exposure could lead to more investment and development in the city, creating new jobs and opportunities for residents. Additionally, the All-Star Weekend provides a platform for the city to showcase its best qualities to a national and international audience, helping to attract new customers and businesses to the area.
Overall, the 2023 NBA All-Star Game is set to be a major economic boom for Salt Lake City, with long-lasting benefits for the city’s future. So, whether you are cheering on Team Pau Gasol and Team Joakim Noah, Team Giannis and Team Lebron, or just watching for the dunk contest—this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend will be one for the history books of Salt Lake City.
Written by Ryan Hickman
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