Edison, N.J. – The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference released an economic impact study of the 2013 MAAC Basketball Championships held in Springfield, Mass. that was performed by graduate students at the University of Massachusetts’ Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management.
“The MAAC has used the services of the University of Massachusetts Isenberg School for each of its basketball championships at the MassMutual Center,” notes Richard Ensor, Commissioner of the MAAC. “The school’s independent review of the championships provided the MAAC with a strong demographic and marketing analysis of fan behavior and needs at the 2012 championship. Following up on that effort the UMass 2013 economic impact review provides the MAAC and the Springfield Local Organizing Committee with a gauge of the championships’ economic impact to the local economy and the value MAAC fans and teams provide to the hotel, restaurants, bars and other businesses”
The economic impact study included a series of 22 in-person questions at the Championships. A total of 301 fans were surveyed over a period of four days. The results of the survey concluded that the age distribution among attendees at the Championship were relatively even with a majority of the attendees being male.
A finding in the study was that 93 percent of the 196 visitors to Springfield polled in the survey would have visited Springfield if not for the MAAC Championships. 96 percent of these visitors also planned on staying additional days either before or after the tournament as well.
The study also revealed that 69 percent of the people polled were visitors to Springfield with 31 percent being local. Women were more likely to attend with family while men attended the Championships with friends.
“Heading into a new bid cycle to determine the host city and venue for the 2015-18 MAAC Basketball Championships, it was necessary that the economic impact study of our championships be done for future hosts,” said Bob Byrnes, Athletic Director at Manhattan College and Chair of the Men’s Basketball Committee. “The amount of revenue that is generated for the local economy for any city that hosts the Championships, including Springfield, can easily be seen through our institution, fan and alumni spending.”
When asked the question of the main reason a person attended the championship, the majority of the group – 46 percent - responded with “Fan of basketball” followed by 32 percent choosing the alumnus, student or fan of a competing school response.
“Our fans and institutions spend a fair amount of money to attend the MAAC Basketball Championships from eating at local restaurants, attending different activities and events and transportation around the city,” said Tim Murray, Athletic Director at Marist College and Chair of the Women’s Basketball Committee. “Through the economic impact study, the MAAC was able to assess the value the MAAC Basketball Championships bring to the city that hosts. It is a nice tool that future bidders on the MAAC Basketball Championships have to see the potential that the MAAC Championships would bring economically to their city or town.”
Overall, the study concluded that $2.3 million, excluding ticket sales, was spent in the Springfield area. The calculation was based on respondents who spent on the given category divided by the total survey respondents then multiplied by their average spending for a given category and total attendance. The categories of spending included lodging and hotels, transportation, public transportation, food and beverage, non-basketball entertainment, shopping and event purchases.
The 2014 MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships will return to the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass. from March 6-10. The 2014 Championship will mark a new format in the schedule, adding an extra day of competition to the event.