Officials from Cobb County and Georgia following the announcement that Major League Baseball was pulling its 2021 All-Star Game and activities along with the industry’s player entry draft contend that Atlanta and Georgia will lose $100 million worth of economic activity. But where did politicians actually get that number. Is there some proof that an All-Star event that lasts just three days does generate that type of activity? The short answer, it seems it is a number picked out of a hat. No one really knows just how much money is spent on a crown jewel event like the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The experts, who really have no data to back up their claims, contend the 2020 Los Angeles All-Star Game had an estimated economic impact of $89 million. The 2019 game in Cleveland was said to have generated $65 million in regional economic activity. There was a claim that the 2013 MLB New York All-Star Game brought in an estimated $191.5 million. Estimates and claims that have not been verified.
People come in from out of town, like the players, managers and coaches and MLB staff on the Sunday night or Monday morning before the Tuesday game. Everyone leaves by Wednesday. Sure, there is a local fan fest but that is attended by locals and the high rollers who go to big sports events get into town on Monday and leave by Wednesday. Cobb County is not going to see any CEO that goes to the game relocate his business or her business in suburban Atlanta. If you dig deep into that $100 million impact figure, it probably is considerably less as non-local hotels, motels, restaurants and car rental agencies send money from rate hikes because of the big event to some home office. The inflated numbers never add up.
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