Economic Impact of UI Football Season on Johnson Co. Tops $100 Million
Adrian Clayborn and the Iowa Hawkeyes open the 2010 season Saturday, Sept. 4 in Iowa City.

Adrian Clayborn and the Iowa Hawkeyes open the 2010 season Saturday, Sept. 4 in Iowa City.

Aug. 27, 2010

IOWA CITY, IA - The economic impact of a seven-game home game schedule of the University of Iowa football program on Johnson County exceeds $100 million, according to a pilot study under the direction of the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB).

The CVB collaborated last fall with students enrolled in a University of Iowa graduate class under the direction of Dr. Michael Lomax, associate professor of leisure studies in the UI's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The data collected produced the following results:

• The projected economic impact of one Iowa football game on Johnson County is more than $14.5 million
• The projected economic impact of one seven-game season on Johnson County is more than $100.1 million
• The average game attracts more than 51,000 visitors to Johnson County
• The average size of a travel party is 3.7 persons
• On average, a travel party that indicated they stayed in a local hotel spent $944 during their stay
• On average, a travel party that indicated they didn't stay in a local hotel spent $273 each game weekend
• 13 percent of visitors to the Iowa City/Coralville area for Iowa's home game against Northwestern indicated they didn't have a game ticket but instead planned to participate in pre-game and post-game activities and/or shop in the area while those who they travelled with attended the game

"It's nice to have a number to attach to what fans of the Hawkeyes and, more importantly, businesses and tax payers of the greater Iowa City community have always known: The Hawkeyes offer a significant financial boost to our local economy in addition to the fun and excitement and sense of school and community spirit," said Gary Barta, the UI's director of athletics.

"It's also great to validate the hard work of hundreds of people who bring these games to life. Certainly, our coaches, staff, and student-athletes work year round on these games. But, beyond that group, investments are being made by city, county, and other local officials both in financial resources and in time that are both critical and irreplaceable.

"Obviously, our local businesses gear up for these seven weekends each fall," Barta continued. "In the end, this study truly demonstrates the financial return on investment for all these groups and, specifically, the positive financial impact these events have on Johnson County."

The survey-based study was conducted on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6-7, 2009 when fans of the UI's nationally ranked football team visited the Iowa City/Coralville community for the Hawkeyes' game against Northwestern. A total of 572 surveys were completed by randomly selected fans assembled near Kinnick Stadium, aboard the Hawkeye Express, and in the lobby of five area hotels. 465 of the surveys were determined to be completed correctly and included in the study.

The CVB indicates that surveying will be conducting during the weekend of Iowa's home games against Ball State and Ohio State this season.

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