More Than A Game


Words by Carson Rich

In the world of sports, the impact extends far beyond the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Major sporting events often benefit the places they occur in by generating massive amounts of revenue, bringing in more tourism, and ultimately help the city build their own unique culture. Jacksonville is one of the country’s fastest growing cities, and a huge part of that is because of their success through organizations like the Jaguars and the Jumbo Shrimp. For cities fortunate enough to play host to major sporting events, the spectacle goes far beyond the thrill of competition — it’s a golden opportunity to score big in terms of revenue generation, economic stimulus, and brand elevation.


Sporting events inject millions, and sometimes billions, of dollars into local economies. From hotel bookings and restaurant reservations to merchandise sales and ticket revenue, the economic impact of hosting a major sporting event is substantial. Local bars and restaurants more than double their average amounts of revenue due to the increased traffic flow of fans rushing in before, during or after the games. From building or upgrading stadiums and arenas to expanding transportation networks and accommodations, cities embark on ambitious projects aimed at enhancing the overall fan experience and accommodating the influx of visitors. The upcoming and highly anticipated renovation to Everbank Stadium is one of the ways Jacksonville plays into this strategy. This completely reimagined stadium is estimated to cost over a billion dollars from the city, but in the long run, Jacksonville will get more than that amount back due to the excitement and new opportunities that will follow in the coming years. Hopefully after it is all said and done, Jacksonville could have a spot in line to host a Super Bowl in the next decade, which is one of the biggest revenue generating events in the sports industry. 


It is not only the big-name events or organizations that play a role in this though. Teams like the Jumbo Shrimp and the Icemen also help from the inside, gathering local fans and creating strong fan bases that keep people involved and want to come back for more. The Jumbo Shrimp’s “Thirsty Thursday” deals generate lots of money and ticket sales every week during the season, as the beer is so cheap that it is hard to resist not joining for a few innings. Jacksonville’s newest pro basketball team, “The 95ers,” are also generating excitement as they look to become the city’s best new entertainment. 


Sports tourism has emerged as a significant driver of economic growth for cities worldwide. Whether it’s the roar of engines at the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco, the thunderous applause at Wimbledon or the electric atmosphere of the Super Bowl, sporting events captivate audiences and draw visitors from every corner of the globe. Sporting events serve as powerful magnets for tourists, drawing visitors who come not only to watch the games but also to explore the host city’s attractions, culture and cuisine. The increase in tourism creates a ripple effect, stimulating growth in the hospitality, entertainment and retail sectors.


Aside from the immediate benefits that the city receives, sports organizations also help out in their own communities and show their support for the area they represent on a more personal level. Just last summer, the Jaguars helped put together a new state-of-the-art sports complex for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida. Giving support like this is one of many ways that they have contributed to the city in a positive manner, and they’re always striving to improve the place they also call their home. 


The popularity and success of sports organizations helps the area build character and establishes a different type of culture that is hard to find in any other industry, and Jacksonville is a perfect example of this. The busy streets of downtown Jacksonville ooze teal and gold, the atmosphere is filled with nothing but love for the home team with fans everywhere roaring the word “Duval” as a signal of pride that could make anyone into a Jags fan. This exact setting may be unique to North Florida, but things like this happen all around the world, and it all stems from the beautiful culture that sporting events allow us to share. 


From the glitz and glamour of the Super Bowl to the global spectacle of the Olympic Games, major sporting events represent a golden opportunity for cities to showcase their strengths, stimulate economic growth, and leave a lasting legacy for future generations. By leveraging the excitement and energy of game day, cities around the world are scoring big in the game of economic development, proving that when it comes to hosting major sporting events, everyone comes out a winner.

About Carson Rich

Throughout his childhood, you could always find Carson Rich with his eyes glued to the screen watching Sportcenter every morning before school. Now as an aspiring sports journalist at Folio Weekly, he looks to take after the people he used to look up to. Even when he is not writing about sports, he's usually at home binging old highlights or catching up on the latest news in sports.