It’s playoff season, which means it must be time for another article touting the economic benefits of your team making the playoffs. Today’s entry comes courtesy of the Indianapolis Business Journal, which, typical of these articles, doesn’t actually attempt to quantify the impact of the Colts’ Super Bowl run, but throws out lots of anecdotal evidence like “Sales [of Colts caps and shirts] were so strong, the stadium shop stayed open until 11 p.m., about five hours after the game ended”!
Of course, money spent on Peyton Manning shirts is money not spent on something else — unless Colts fans have set aside money in special team merchandise accounts — so a lot of that money is just being redirected from somewhere else in the regional economy. (Hotel spending, which is also up, is a bit more of a legit gain, since typically hotel-room stays in the dead of winter in Indianapolis are pretty minimal.) Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association CEO Don Welsh exulted to the Business Journal: “You can’t overemphasize how good something like this Colts run is for the city, not only in terms of direct visitor spending but exposure.” Well, sure you can. That’s why we’re supposed to have journalists, to evaluate just how much emphasis is warranted, according to the actual numbers. Remember journalists?