SBD/Issue 184/Franchises

Southern California Sports Organizations Hit Hard By Recession

Professional and amateur sports organizations in Southern California have been "stung by the recession," according to Hugo Martin of the L.A. TIMES. A study released yesterday by the L.A. Sports Council and the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce showed that with "drops in attendance, ticket prices and part-time employment, sporting events drew 18% less revenue in 2009 compared with 2007," when the study was last conducted. Fifty-five sports organizations in Southern California generated $4.2B in revenue last year, down from $5.1B in '07. The three-month study, conducted by graduate students from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, was "based on revenue reports and employment and attendance figures from the sports organizations." The study "examined the revenue generated by the sports organizations, not the money spent by fans who paid for lodging, food, travel and souvenirs outside of the sporting venue." Much of the decline in direct revenue was "attributed to a combination of factors, including a 16% drop in annual attendance to the events and a slight decrease in ticket prices" (L.A. TIMES, 6/8). ESPN L.A.'s Ramona Shelburne noted sports "pumped $1.7 billion directly into the local economy last year, which resulted in a $4.2 billion impact." In '07, while L.A. was "still enjoying record economic gains, sports contributed $2.1 billion directly into the economy." The '09 figure, "while lower by 18 percent, is in line with 2005 figures ($2.1 million)" (ESPNLOSANGELES.com, 6/7).

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