Cactus League Economic Impact
Arizona's 53rd Cactus League season, which started Wednesday, is expected to attract more than 1 million fans and boost the state's economy by more than $200 million, the president of the Cactus League Association said.
The association has commissioned an economic study this spring to update a 2003 report that estimated spring training's impact at $202 million statewide, including $110 million in spending by out-of-state fans.
"We think those numbers are higher now," J.P. de la Montaigne said Tuesday during a breakfast meeting along the right-field deck at Scottsdale Stadium.
While these studies are always self serving, a significant portion of the spending by out of state fans does represent a net export from the state of Arizona. Hence it's a net addition to our economy. More balanced studies show that the local spending is a shift from other recreational activities and not a net addition to the economy. (There is a link to their 2003 study in Word format at the bottom of their information page.)
So, I'll give them credit for about $100 million in economic impact, but not the whole $200 million.
(If you're wondering about the impact of a sports team, have a look at Tempe with and without the Cardinals. I don't think sales tax revenues or tourism revenues have taken much of a hit sine the Cardinals moved to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.)