U.'s move to Pac-12 financial boon for university and the state

Published: Tuesday, March 13 2012 4:34 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — A new report shows the University of Utah’s move to the Pac-12 conference was a financial success for the state.

The study, conducted by the U.'s Center for Public Policy & Administration and Bureau of Economic and Business Research, showed the move increased the economic impact of the U.’s football games by 60 percent in the inaugural 2011-2012 season. The overall economic impact from football games included 210 jobs and $500,000 in state tax revenues.     

“Joining the Pac-12 has resulted in great benefits for the state of Utah,” said David Rudd, dean of the university’s College of Social and Behavioral Science, in a prepared statement. “Visitors spent $5.5 million during the five Pac-12 home games last season. Not only did they spend money here, they are more likely to return to our state. Being part of the Pac-12 is a significant boost to our state’s economy.”     

The study also found for the first season in the Pac-12, the school’s share of television revenues was expected to be $3 million. By contrast, annual television revenues under the Mountain West Conference were $1.2 million. Television revenue from Pac-12 games is projected to be $15 million by 2015.     

Visitors’ spending and revenue from TV also generates multiple indirect benefits, including the support of jobs, earnings and new tax revenues, according to research analyst Michael Hogue. 

“The state gained $515,121 in tax revenue; $310,086 attributed to visitors’ spending and $205,035 generated from the university’s share in TV revenues,” Hogue said.

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