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Valley visitors bring big bucks during Fiesta, Cactus bowls

Ohio State beat Notre Dame 44-28 in this year’s Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium, while Arizona State lost a 43-42 heartbreaker to West Virginia in the Cactus Bowl at Chase Field.

The real winner, however, was the Valley. A new report from the Fiesta Bowl says the 2 games brought over 60,000 visitors to the valley and pumped $169.4 million dollars into the local economy.

“The two games contributed $111 million from the Fiesta Bowl and $30.7 million from the Cactus Bowl,” said Shannon Williams, the Chief Marketing Officer for the Fiesta Bowl and Cactus Bowl. “That’s in addition to $27.1 million in organizational spending.”

Williams said the figures come from interviews of people who came from out of town to see the games. They were asked a lot of questions.

“How long they stayed in town during the games, how much they spent on average during the game, and their total direct spending,” Williams said.

Out of town visitors with tickets to the Cactus Bowl actually averaged about $11 dollars a day more in average spending than those with tickets to the Fiesta Bowl.

“We were actually a little surprised with the high economic impact of that (Cactus Bowl) game, because we thought the majority of the fans were here from Arizona,” said Williams. “West Virginia fans traveled, and they certainly spent some money with us.”

Another interesting piece of information is that visitors who came to the Valley without Fiesta Bowl tickets actually spent more than those with a ticket. Those without tickets averaged $521.65 in average daily spending, compared to $390.80 dollars for those who had a ticket.