Virus-shortened Cactus League made only $364 million economic impact

Aug 26, 2020, 12:00 PM
(AP Photo)...
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – The coronavirus-shortened spring training season produced about $364 million of economic impact in the state, the Cactus League said Wednesday, nearly half of a previous full session.

A study from Arizona State University also reported the exhibition baseball season had added $213.7 million to the state’s gross domestic product.

The 2018 Cactus League accounted for $644.2 million in economic impact and $373 million in gross domestic product.

Researchers estimated the 2020 season would have come close to those numbers.

“The pandemic’s impact on the state’s tourism industry has made it abundantly clear that we can’t take spring training for granted,” Cactus League President Chris Calcaterra said in a press release.

The Cactus League schedule opened Feb. 21 and was shut down March 12.

W.P. Carey School of Business’ L. William Seidman Research Institute surveyed 2,344 visitors to the 10 Valley ballparks where 15 teams play, stretching from Surprise in the west to Mesa in the east.

More than half the fans surveyed – 1,446 – were from out of state.

The study found that specific group spent about $43 million on lodging and $56 million dining out, among other expenditures and nearly 33% stayed between three to four nights.

The length of stay was down from 35% of visitors in 2018.

According to the study, spring training created 3,202 seasonal jobs that totaled $128.3 million in employee wages.

Spring training also adds $18.4 million in taxes, $13.1 million of which goes to the state; the rest goes to local governments.

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Virus-shortened Cactus League made only $364 million economic impact