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2018 spring training season brings $644M to Arizona, survey finds

Los Angeles Angels spring home Tempe Diablo Stadium awaits Spring Training Cactus League games Monday, Feb. 27, 2012, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Talk about a home run: Spring training games have generated more than $644 million of total economic impact in Arizona this past season.

The Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business study found that was an 11 percent increase from a similar study done in 2015.

The 2018 Cactus League season also generated $373 million for Arizona’s gross domestic product, the study found.

“We just can’t take spring training for granted,” Cactus League Association President Jeff Meyer told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“This is like an annual mega event for us every single March that everyone can participate in.”

The study also found the Cactus League created 6,439 annual jobs that paid $224.6 million in 2018. Spring training also generated a total of $31.9 million in taxes.

“This is a grand slam for Arizona’s economy,” Meyer said.

The study from the Arizona State University’s W.P Carey School of Business surveyed out-of-state visitors who came to Arizona for games at all 10 ballparks and measured only new dollars that came into the state due to spring training.

“Six out of the ten visitors who are attending spring training games are from out of state,” Debbie Johnson, the director of Arizona’s Office of Tourism, said.

“That’s a really big number. That’s why we call spring training a tourism driver.”

The study also unearthed a statewide benefit, with a 26 percent of baseball fans admitting they would visit other parts of Arizona during their trip.

“These visitors are coming here because of Cactus League, but then they are doing other things here throughout the state. But they wouldn’t be coming if it weren’t for spring training,” Johnson added.

Out-of-state visitors during the latest spring training season in Arizona spent nearly $89.8 million in lodging and accommodations and nearly $123 million at bars and restaurants.

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