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D'BACKS CONTRIBUTING BIG D'BUCKS TO BOTTOM LINE OF PHOENIX
Published August 13, 1998
The D'Backs' "impact on downtown business has been a big hit" in their inaugural season, according to Peter Corbett of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. A report by Phoenix's Finance Department shows that fans lured to Bank One Ballpark have helped contribute a 34.1% increase in the city's sales tax revenues in the downtown area for the first six months of this year, compared with the same period in '97. Retail sales through June 30 in the downtown core were up 93.8% over the same six-month period in '97. Downtown Phoenix Partnership Exec Dir Margaret Mullen, comparing the D'Backs to new ballparks in Denver and Baltimore: "When we started planning for the stadium in 1993, we felt that if we got half the impact of the other cities, we'd be happy. Now it appears we're going to exceed both." Restaurants and bars downtown have seen their food and beverage tabs "balloon" from $40.3M to $52.4M through June 30, a 30% jump from the year-ago period. Hotels and motels in the one- square-mile area have shown a 6.6% increase, compared with a 4.3% increase citywide. The time frame of the sales-tax report includes the first three months of the MLB season and 37 of the D'Backs' 81 home games (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 8/13).