A recent report commissioned by the San Francisco 49ers has revealed that events at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara have had a total economic impact of $2 billion on the region over the last decade. The report covers the period from July 2014 to July 2023 and highlights the significant contribution of the stadium to the local community.
The report, prepared by sports economics professor Daniel Rascher, emphasizes the stadium’s role as an employer, tax and revenue driver for the city, and a dynamic cultural attraction. The findings have been welcomed by Santa Clara Councilmember Karen Hardy, who described the stadium as an integral part of the community.
The economic impact is attributed to a wide range of events, including nearly 1,000 special or corporate events and 155 major events such as Super Bowl 50, high-profile 49ers games, college football championships, and international soccer matches. The stadium has also hosted concerts featuring renowned artists like Elton John, Taylor Swift, Coldplay, and The Weeknd.
The report highlights that the events at Levi’s Stadium have created the equivalent of nearly 12,000 full-time jobs in the last 10 years, including both full-time roles and part-time gigs. Local employees have earned almost $550 million since the stadium opened in 2014.
The economic benefits extend beyond job creation, with the report noting that nearly $350 million in revenue has been generated for the city of Santa Clara and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority through sales and hotel taxes, ticket surcharges, city parking fees, and rent. Additionally, $120 million has gone to the governments of San Jose and Santa Clara County.
Visitors to stadium events, as well as organizations, sponsors, vendors, and the 49ers themselves, have contributed over $370 million to the economic impact of the greater Bay Area region.
The report’s findings have been hailed as evidence that Levi’s Stadium has exceeded expectations as an economic asset for Santa Clara. 49ers President Al Guido expressed satisfaction with the partnership between the team and the city, stating that it has translated into billions of dollars for the community.
The $2 billion total economic impact takes into account both direct and indirect spending. Direct spending includes money spent by visitors on tickets, concessions, merchandise, and parking, as well as spending on local establishments before and after events. It also encompasses the stadium’s operational spending and taxes paid to local governments.
Indirect spending factors in the “ripple” effect of direct spending, such as when money spent by a visitor at a restaurant is used to pay employees or purchase supplies from a supplier.
While the report highlights the positive economic impact of events at Levi’s Stadium, it does not address any potential negative impacts on residents, such as congestion or opportunity costs associated with using the land in alternative ways.
Despite the overall positive findings, not everyone in Santa Clara is convinced of the stadium’s benefits. A recent city report noted that the stadium’s non-NFL events produced a profit of $8.8 million in a fiscal year, half of which goes to the stadium authority for operations. The city decided to allocate the remaining profits to a legal contingency reserve fund, leading to frustration from some local officials who feel that the city is not receiving the promised benefits.
Overall, the report provides strong evidence of the significant economic impact generated by events at Levi’s Stadium over the last decade. It highlights the stadium’s role as a major cultural attraction, employer, and revenue driver for the region. Despite some criticisms, the report serves as a testament to the success of the partnership between the San Francisco 49ers and the city of Santa Clara.