Harrison Wicks covers the lasting effects of the College Football Championship for Arlington, TX and the surrounding DFW Metroplex. Hosting national sporting events is becoming big money for an area that has all the tools such as sporting facilities, premier hotels and resorts, a robust infrastructure, and mild climate.
So what do we know? Ohio State trounced Oregon 42-20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. (Again sorry to the Duck fans out there…)
So what did we not know? Organizers claim that 91,000 ticketed fans, 12,500 credentialed visitors, and 18,000 fans that did not attend the game, descended on the DFW region. With these numbers the state comptroller’s office predicted an economic impact of $308 million for the region. In addition to the short-term monetary value of the event, long-term benefits include a new positive impression viewers of the championship game will now have of the DFW Metroplex.
To help defray the cost of organizing, the Texas Comptroller’s Major Events Trust Fund donated $10.7 million while the cities of Arlington and Dallas kicked in $300,000 and $1.16 million, respectively, with the idea that they would be reimbursed for approved expenses tied to hosting the championship game. In addition, Dallas expects to recoup $180 million in economic impact.
Prior to the College Football Championship game, representatives for the four universities in the College Football Playoff toured North Texas looking for sites to host alumni parties, team gatherings, and other school related events. What they found was a region ready to accommodate the thousands of fans each university could possibly bring. In large part, this was made possible by the vast area the DFW Metroplex covers, with over 100 cities that have been actively developing their own hospitality infrastructure with an extensive network of convention centers and hotels.
Hosting such a sporting event would have been impossible without a major sports facility. In the past five years, North Texas has hosted multiple high profile sporting events such as the NCAA Final Four and Super Bowl XLV. This was thanks in large part to AT&T Stadium, which was completed in 2009. In addition, other area venues such as the American Airlines Center and the Cotton Bowl also add to the number of available sporting locations.
Finally, college football is a booming industry. Not only does it have a passionate fan base but investment in Texas is on the rise. $738 million in college stadium construction projects are underway, completed or approved in 2014 in Texas. New stadiums opened at Houston and Baylor and Texas A&M is wrapping up a $450 million renovation of Kyle Field. In addition, other major projects are in the works at Texas and Texas Tech. With these premier, growing, and reemerging college football programs making a push in Texas, it makes sense for the DFW Metroplex to court this type of economic activity and prepare for more to come in the future.