Whoa, Nellie! UW athletics has $610M impact

For anyone who doubts that Wisconsin athletics is a strong component of Wisconsin’s economic engine, a recently completed economic impact report has some game-changing (if not mind-changing) figures. The report, completed in June with Econsult Solutions Inc., says the Badgers provide a $610 million total annual economic impact for the state of Wisconsin.

According to uwbadgers.com, the report takes into account the economic benefits the university’s 23 athletic teams and supporting organizations generate through hosting sports competitions, events such as high school state tournaments and concerts, and direct spending by athletic department operations, capital investments, attendee spending, ancillary spending, and broader societal impacts.

The $610 million statewide impact equates to 4,480 jobs and a $12 million tax revenue impact. If you concentrate on the city of Madison, the Badgers provide a $395 million total annual economic impact, including 1.8 million visitors each year. In Madison, that $395 million impact brings 2,950 jobs and a $1.7 million tax revenue impact.

The most impactful events come on fall Saturdays at Camp Randall Stadium, as each home football game provides $16 million in total economic impact on the Wisconsin economy. The 14th ranked Badgers play their most important game of the young season to date this Saturday, as they host 10th ranked Michigan in the Big Ten opener.

“The fact that Badger athletics has such an impact on our city, region, and state is a great source of pride for us,” says Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez. “Our athletic program is woven into the fabric of not only the Madison area, but all over our great state. The financial figures back that up, and they go hand in hand with the strong bond we have with the residents of our state.”