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Another game, another useless economic impact estimate

The NBA All-Star Game will be played here in Houston in two months. You know what that means.

The NBA All-Star weekend in Houston could inject as much as $79.6 million into the Texas economy, Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn said Wednesday.

Strayhorn predicts 25,000 out-of-state basketball fans will spend an average of $317 a day for eating, shopping and lodging during the Feb. 17-19 events.

Projected out-of-state visitor spending is $24.4 million, in addition to the NBA’s organizer’s expenses and promotions, another $9.7 million in direct economic impact.

Visitor spending projections include $6 million in lodging, $5.2 million at restaurants, $6.4 million spent on merchandise and retail sales, $4.7 million spent on booze and entertainment and $2 million on local transportation expenses.

Out-of-state visitor and support spending will result in a total direct economic benefit of $34.1 million for Texas.

Secondary effects on visitor-related industries, local earnings and household spending will bring the total economic impact up to $79.6 million, she said.

Counting fans coming to the Houston area from other parts of Texas, the local area economy will see 60,000 visitors from the All-Star weekend activities, she estimated.

You know the drill by now. I just want to point out that the Toyota Center holds 18,300 for basketball, so where those 25,000 and 60,000 (!) out-of-town visitor figures come from is beyond me. Maybe they figure the TV reception will be better in the sports bars here, I don’t know.

I should also point out that this estimate makes Jordy Tollett look like a pessimist. Who’d have ever thought that would happen?

It is good to see Strayhorn get her name back in the papers, though, isn’t it? I was afraid she was about to get desperate.

There’s a key flaw in Strayhorn’s numbers, however. The weekend of February 17-19 is also the weekend of my 40th birthday. Family and friends will be coming in from around the country to help me celebrate, which means we’ll be drinking a lot of beer and eating way too much Tex-Mex. (Ooh, looks like there’ll be some baseball at Reckling Park for us, too.) I figure we’ll be good for a $10 million economic injection into Houston by ourselves, easy. And the best part is that since no one ever does a followup study on the actual impact of these events, to see how they measure up to the splashy estimates that we get beforehand, no one can prove me wrong about that. Party on!

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4 Comments

  1. ttyler5 says:

    Concerning those visitor figures, they are probably counting all the news media people, all the gamblers, and all the con artists, pimps and hookers who will show up as well.

  2. RedScare says:

    Well, since there are events on three separate days, Ms. Strayhorn expertly realized that NO ONE will go to more than one event. Additionally, no Houstonians will attend either, wanting to pump up the economic impact figures. Therefore, 54,900 out-of-towners will attend the festivities.

    As for the final 5,100 guests? As tyler alertly pointed out, this group will be comprised of bookies, hookers and Minnesota Vikings football players, who, not being in the playoffs, and realizing that Houston has lakes AND bays, will no doubt take the occasion to plan a party.

  3. PDiddie says:

    Dude! I’ll buy you a beer at the Lamar-Rice game on the 19th.

  4. […] Far as I can tell from my archives, the only thing I wrote about that previous All Star Game was my usual harrumph regarding economic projections for it. I look forward to getting to do that again. Hair Balls has […]