Jan 20, 2011

The Pittsburgh Steelers are playing in the AFC championship in Pittsburgh on Sunday.  Fans in the city are excited.  The players are certainly excited as well.  Maybe more excited than both of those parties?

Pittsburgh areas hotels, restaurants, retailers, and bars.

Pittsburgh’s tourism board, Visit Pittsburgh, is estimating that last week’s game and this week’s AFC Championship game will bring in roughly $45M to the economy in Western Pennsylvania.  Needless to say, Pittsburgh business owners are excited,

[quotes]Merrill Stabile, president of Alco Parking Corp., which owns North Shore lots around Heinz Field and PNC Park, said the three extra games translate into money Alco and the city normally wouldn’t have. Stabile said the company controls about 8,000 parking spaces around Heinz Field.

“The parking tax alone is going to be in the range of $100,000,” Stabile said. “It’s a shot in the arm for everyone here on the North Side, as well as Downtown. We’re jumping for joy.”

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And hotels?  They’re doing well, as well,

[quotes]People are booking hotel rooms at premium prices. Downtown rates range from $278 to $419 per night, according to hotel websites.

Robert Lepore, general manager of the 715-room Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh, formerly the Hilton, said he expects the hotel to fill before the weekend.

“The reservation lines are certainly lit up,” he said. “We do expect, really, you’ll see a tremendous amount of business. We expect the rooms to go very fast. I think this will be a big boost for the city.” (via Tribune Review)

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Overall, its been a great January for the city of Pittsburgh, which also brought in an estimated $15 million from the NHL’s Winter Classic, which took place on New Years Day.

Although its not completely a fair comparison, due to number of games and the finality of each football game, its interesting to note that Arlington saw roughly $8 million come into the city during the Rangers six home playoff sellouts during the 2010 MLB playoffs.

Of course, both of those events are dwarfed by the WWE’s yearly WrestleMania event.  The event has averaged more than 45M of economic impact over the last three years.  This is due in large part to WrestleMania being a non-localized event, giving it the ability to pull in attendees from across the nation.

[format]63% of fans that attended last year’s WrestleMania in Phoenix, were from outside the metropolitan area, with 53% staying three nights or more.[/format]

Don’t feel too bad for the NFL though.  Although WrestleMania may dwarf two home playoff games in economic impact, last year’s Super Bowl brought in more than $230M for the Miami economy.

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