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Updated 10:00 AM October 31, 2007




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Big Ten football worth three Super Bowls to Michigan

Super Bowl XL in Detroit was a landmark economic event in 2006, but how big is the Big Ten? A study released Monday, Oct. 29, shows Big Ten football will pump $177 million into the state economy this fall, more than triple the impact of the Super Bowl.
This fall Big Ten football will contribute $177 million to the state economy, a new U-M study finds.(Photo by Scott Galvin, U-M Photo Services)

As part of a study benchmarking the impact of Michigan's University Research Corridor — an alliance of U-M, Michigan State and Wayne State — Anderson Economic Group found 1.37 million people will attend football games at U-M and Michigan State University this fall.

"We only measured the net economic impact or the spending that would not otherwise occur in the state," says Patrick Anderson, principal and CEO of Anderson Economic Group. "These are very conservative estimates of the additional income Michigan residents will enjoy because of these events.''

AEG, which provided the most conservative predictions of the Detroit Super Bowl's impact, subsequently has produced studies for numerous Fortune 500 companies as well as other sports events including the 2004 and 2006 Ryder Cups and 2006 Detroit Tigers playoff games. AEG estimates the 2006 Super Bowl had an impact of $56.2 million.

"We all enjoy speculating about the outcome of the Michigan-Michigan State game but no matter what happens on the field, the real winner is the state of Michigan,'' says MSU President Lou Anna Simon. "We compete on the field but off-the-field, the impact of our alliance is enormous."

President Mary Sue Coleman adds: "As members of the University Research Corridor, U-M and MSU are powerful contributors to the state's economy. This latest study tells us the economic muscle of Wolverine and Spartan football games is truly a win-win for Michigan."

Simon, Coleman and WSU President Irvin Reid will join together again Saturday, speaking to a combined tailgate party crowd prior to this week's big game in East Lansing.

Here's how the Michigan economy benefits from Big Ten football:

• Out-of-state visitors: The 15 Spartan/Wolverine games being held in Michigan will attract 179,176 out-of-state fans this fall. Total attendance at the 2006 Super Bowl, football's biggest contest, was 59,500 out-of-state fans.

• In-state game goers: AEG estimates that non-student Michigan residents will buy 916,885 tickets for U-M/MSU games while student attendance for their 15 games will total 279,880. In 2006, 10,500 Michigan residents attended Super Bowl XL.

• New money brought into the state: The study notes that out-of-state attendees generate far more of an economic impact since most would not be here other than for the games. AEG estimated that the average out-of-state Super Bowl attendee spent $386 during their trip to Michigan while the average out-of-state Big Ten game attendee will spend $205 per game. With in-state fans and students, AEG estimated that 75 and 80 percent, respectively, of their game-day investments would have been spent elsewhere in the state if the games weren't held here.

• Bigger facilities: AEG notes that a typical U-M home game attracts 110,026 spectators to Michigan Stadium while an MSU game brings 70,819 fans to Spartan Stadium. This year U-M has eight home games while MSU is playing seven in East Lansing. Ford Field, which hosted the Super Bowl, seats 70,000.

• Mostly from Michigan: The study found that U-M and MSU games against out-of-state opponents typically attract 88 percent of their spectators from within Michigan. When both teams are from within Michigan U+00C2U+00AD— as is the case for the Nov. 3 MSU/U-M game — the number of in-state spectators rises to 93 percent.

AEG's complete study on the impact of the URC found the three research universities helped create 68,803 Michigan jobs and produced $12.8 billion of net economic benefit in 2006.

For more on the University Research Corridor and for a full copy of the report, go to

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