Local economic impact of 2014 NBA All-Star even greater than projected

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

When the city of New Orleans was awarded the NBA’s 2014 All-Star Game, the local and state economy was expected to receive a significant boost from hosting professional basketball’s midseason showcase event. As it turns out, that impact was even larger than initially anticipated.

After projecting 2014 NBA All-Star to generate $89.6 million, a recent study by the University of New Orleans’ Hospitality Research Center found that the economic impact proved to be $106.1 million. A total of $60.4 million came in direct spending, with another $45.7 million in secondary spending.

Visitors spent an average of $904 during their mid-February trip to New Orleans, according to UNO’s study. As a result of such a large influx of out-of-town attendees at the event, roughly $4.9 million in tax revenue was generated for the state of Louisiana, with $3.2 million in tax revenue going to governments in the New Orleans area.

“NBA All-Star 2014 was a tremendous success that our city can be proud of, and the impact of the week’s events will be felt throughout the community for some time to come,” said Host Committee Co-Chair and Pelicans Owner/Vice Chair Rita Benson LeBlanc. “We’ve received fantastic feedback from the league, media, fans and sponsors and are already working on plans for a third All-Star Game in New Orleans.”

“This type of high-profile event that brings visitors to New Orleans has a lasting effect on future visitation,” said John A. Williams, Director of UNO’s Hospitality Research Center, as well as its Dean of the College of Business Administration. “It is a major reason that New Orleans enjoys a 58 percent visitation rate. Not only is the All-Star Game one of the finest sporting events of the year on a national basis for those who attend, but it allows them the opportunity to enjoy our sensational restaurants, hotels and other venues.” 

Williams noted that the tremendous national and international exposure of NBA All-Star provides another benefit to New Orleans. Basketball has now joined soccer as a global game, followed by fans all over the world.

“Because of media coverage of the events showcasing our great city, it also inspires visitation by those who have not visited New Orleans previously,” Williams said. “While visitors came from all over the nation to attend, attendees also came from 15 other countries. Events such as this are pivotal as New Orleans seeks to expand its international visitation.”