Anybody watch the Texas Bowl? I'll say this, having attended my first-ever bowl game last week: There is something cool, something special about bowl games. Just being in another town with your fellow fans, wearing your school's colors, hopefully in greater numbers than the other guys, and knowing that the locals you encounter know why you're there, was pleasing in a way I didn't expect. Maybe that wears off when going to a bowl game becomes a habit and an expectation, but for this time, at least, I enjoyed the heck out of it.
Anyway. In yesterday's story about the latest version of a Houston-based bowl game, an old familiar theme cropped up:
Rutgers vs. Kansas State is a fortuitously attractive matchup between two rags-to-riches programs with devout followings. A crowd in excess of 50,000 is expected for the 7 p.m. kickoff, and officials predict the economic impact for the community to exceed $30 million.
Thousands of hotel rooms are said to be full of people wearing clothes in Rutgers scarlet or K-State purple.
"It's the equivalent of one of our major conventions, like the Offshore Technology Conference," said Wayne Chappell of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. "And because (the visitors) don't have to go to meetings, they're out having fun and spending money."
And of course you can't have a story like this without the issue of the game's economic impact on the city arising. I've beaten that horse to a pulp (see here and here for two examples), and I've yet to see a postgame study of the actual numbers. I doubt this time will be any different.
Be that as it may, the game did draw over 50,000 fans, many of whom presumably came from out of town. I'm not doubting that there was some economic impact (though whether this year's attendance level will be normal or anomalous is open to debate), I just want something other than some Houston booster's self-interested pregame guess as a metric. Is that so much to ask?Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 29, 2006 to Other sports | TrackBack