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UA Athletics Department Releases Economic Impact Study

The University of Arkansas Athletics Department released a new study this week, detailing the Razorbacks' impact on the local economy.
The University of Arkansas Athletics Department released a new study Friday, detailing the Razorbacks' impact on the local economy.

The study focused on attendees who travel from out of town to watch football baseball and basketball games, and it found those visitors created close to $30 million dollars in new economic activity.

The study estimates the total impact of the athletic department at more than $150 million, including payroll, expenses and new construction.

More than one million fans attended sporting events during the 2011-12 school year, and visitors spent an average of about $100, in addition to the cost of their tickets.

"When we look at visitors coming into the area, we know that they bring their dollars with them and they spend them in hotels and restaurants," says Kathy Deck, director of the University of Arkansas Center for Business and Economic Research.

Although the fans spend less than the average visitors for other events, like Bikes, Blues and BBQ, Deck says they are consistent, and each game brings in about $5 million of economic activity.

"We know we have those games every year," Deck says. "We wouldn't have the businesses in the area if they couldn't count on those games being here."

The study did not include the Hogs' last football season, when poor performance hurt ticket sales.

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