Adrianne Melville of Forbes.com has penned an article about the impact of sports on Boston's economy.
In June 2011, Mayor Tom Menino reported that there were 163 major professional sports home games in Boston last year, which resulted in $300 million in fan spending.
Perhaps the most compelling stat in the article is that Boston’s population has grown at a faster pace over the past 10 years when compared to New York City, Chicago and San Francisco. On top of that, Boston has the highest proportion of the highly coveted 20 to 34 year-olds in all major U.S. cities:
According to the 2010 census, Boston’s population has grown to 617,594 over the last 10 years, a faster pace than New York City, Chicago and San Francisco. But more importantly, the census reveals that Boston now has the highest proportion of 20- to 34-year-olds in all major U.S. cities. This is a competitive demographic for cities across the country, as it generally reflects highly educated, entrepreneurial, top consumers who can contribute to a city’s social and cultural scene. Perhaps more important, members of this age group are generally huge sports fans.
As a side note, the article notes that experts say Fenway has about another 40 to 50 years of life remaining.
The article does not draw a direct link between sports and the economy. Still, it is interesting in that the impact of sport is undeniable. It also begs the question: how many people move to Boston because it is a successful and fun town, a perception which may be a direct result of its sports teams winning on a seemingly regular basis. Certainly, the article raises questions of the impact of sport on the perception of a city and how that translates to population growth.