The All-Star Game As Economic Boon? Don’t Believe the Hype (Village Voice news blog)

I’ve been digging into claims of economic windfalls from sporting events for quite a while, so why quit now? Today, I investigate New York City’s claims that the All-Star Game will generate $148 million for the local economy, this time with the help of an eminent tourism expert:

Don’t be so sure, says John Crompton, author of a 2006 paper detailing what he calls “mischievous procedures” in economic impact studies that reflect their genesis as more PR documents than scientific treatises. “The All-Star Game, there’s no question people will come to town for that,” he says. Nonetheless, he questions how many of the “new” visitors will merely displace existing tourists who’ll avoid New York because the hotels are full during All-Star week: “If there was no All-Star Game, would those hotels still be at 80% [capacity]? If the answer is yes, then you haven’t added to the economic impact, you have merely displaced some other folks who would have come if there was no game.”