Texas Athletics is the second-biggest economic engine for events in the state of Texas, according to the first-ever Economic Impact Report for Texas Athletics released Tuesday.
The report, conducted by AngelouEconomics, calculated Texas Athletics’ economic output at $728 million from 2013 to 2014 — second for events in the Austin area only to the Circuit of the Americas, which totaled an output of $897 million in 2014.
“We are all very cautious of the fact that the economic impact has been huge for our community,” said Angelos Angelou, principal executive officer of AngelouEconomics.“This is the first time we’ve had an opportunity to quantify that impact.”
Athletic director Steve Patterson also discussed Athletics’ decision to tally numbers.
“We wanted to put some real numbers to all of the feelers that we had,” Patterson said.
One number Texas Athletics discovered in its report was $467 million — the amount Texas football single-handedly generated during the 2014 season.
The Frank Erwin Center wasn’t too far behind. Hosting men’s and women’s basketball events, it combined to generate $144.4 million in revenue. That number likely slipped in 2015, as the high school boys and girls basketball state championship tournaments moved to San Antonio after 2014. Even so, the event center’s economic impact was significant.
As construction for the Dell Medical School continues, the Erwin Center will likely be knocked down, but Patterson said that he didn’t conduct the review to pressure Austin into funding a new arena.
“The point was to take a look at the entirety of Texas Athletics and the impact it has on the state, the region and the city,” Patterson said.
Patterson said he conducted similar studies during his time at Arizona State, the Portland Trailblazers and Houston Rockets. While he said he doesn’t know how Texas’ numbers compare to those of other universities, he has compared the numbers with hosts of the Super Bowl and other NFL teams.
All other Texas sports, including the Texas Relays track and field competition, combined to produce roughly $70 million.
Patterson said that the report, which took six months to complete, will help the athletics department decide where to invest going forward.
“It’ll be very helpful as we look to see where capital improvements need to [be] made to our facilities over time,” Patterson said.