The University of Wisconsin-Madison Athletics and its 23 Division 1 athletic teams are an economic engine that contributes $757 million annually to Wisconsin’s economy, according to a report released by the department Wednesday.
That’s about $150 million more than in 2019, when a similar study was last conducted. In 2011, UW-Madison Athletics’ annual economic impact was $970 million, or more than $1.2 billion when adjusting for today’s inflation.
The latest study, completed earlier this year by Philadelphia-based consulting firm Econsult Solutions Inc., also found that UW-Madison athletics contributes $462 million annually — 61% of the total impact — to the city of Madison alone.
“On a typical Saturday, when we accommodate nearly 80,000 fans through our gates at Camp Randall, each of these events generates $19 million in economic impact on (Wisconsin),” UW-Madison athletic director Chris McIntosh said Wednesday in a “state of the downtown”. ” Event hosted by Downtown Madison, Inc.
The study, commissioned by UW-Madison Athletics, analyzed all of the economic activity attributed to the department. This is appreciated by the department’s direct expenditures, additional money drawn into the area from students and visitors, and the “spillover” effects of this activity.
It turns out Badgers Athletics supports over 5,600 jobs in Wisconsin and generates over $16 million in state tax revenue annually. That’s an increase from nearly 4,500 jobs and $12 million in tax revenue in 2019.
In Madison, the athletics department also creates 3,360 jobs and $4 million in local tax revenue.
With over 668,000 spectators each year, UW-Madison football produces $134 million in government economic activity annually. Other Badgers sports draw over 560,000 visitors to the city, the report says, bringing in $57.6 million in economic activity to Wisconsin annually.
Overall, athletics attracts 1.9 million visitors each year. These people spend an estimated $192 million in the state economy through local hospitality, transportation, food and retail industries, generating an annual economic impact of $348 million.
Athletics is expected to spend approximately $148 million in fiscal 2023, excluding capital investments.
According to the report, this year’s surge in capital spending — including a renovation of Camp Randall Stadium’s south end zone and an expansion of the Kohl Center — has fueled economic activity since 2019. These capital investments yield an annual average of $69 million in government economic impact and support 360 full-time jobs.
“We all know and appreciate the less tangible components of the Wisconsin Athletics experience. The fun, the camaraderie, the joy of watching a Badger game,” McIntosh said in a statement. “But it can also be measured in dollars and jobs for our state’s citizens.”
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