UT Athletics: Economic impact
June 12, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Longhorns just turned in two of the most exciting weekends of baseball this community has ever seen. From the 25-inning, record-setting marathon game to Preston Clark's dramatic walk-off grand slam, a continually-packed UFCU Disch-Falk Field was treated to electrifying moments.
The Longhorns take that momentum with them for their 33rd trip to the NCAA Men's College World Series, but they also leave some good fortune here in their wake, with some imprints on the local economy.
Conservative estimates show that during the NCAA Austin Baseball Regional and Super Regional weekends, $2.1 million were infused into the economy, according to Don Hoyte with Texas Trust Funds.
In addition, The University of Texas also hosted the NCAA Men's Golf Central Regional Championship in May, and that event is estimated to have generated $1.3 million.
The three postseason events brought 280 student-athletes, coaches and support staff to the area, and the fans that follow each team increase the numbers significantly. For example, more than 4,750 hotel rooms were filled during the golf and baseball tournaments.
"Hosting these events is good for the economy, bringing visitors from all over the country to stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants and shop in our stores," UT Men's Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds said. "And it offers a stage to display the fine talents and consistent hard work of our UT student-athletes and coaches. It's good recognition for our institution as a whole."
All of this comes during a slowed summer travel season, and when the UT campus is downsized because many students leave during the summer sessions.
A fun and attractive destination, and UT's long-standing tradition of postseason livelihood, make the area an easy fit for any major event. And UT is busy working to bring future NCAA postseason and other sporting events to Central Texas.
The University of Texas Golf Club, which was the home course for this year's regional championship, opened in 2003, and was lengthened by almost 400 yards two years ago, is in the running to host the 2012 NCAA Men's Golf Championship.
The Frank Erwin Center, home for both Men's and Women's Basketball, will host NCAA Women's Basketball first- and second-round action this coming spring, and is under consideration to host an NCAA Men's Basketball Regional in 2011, 2012 or 2013.
"We are excited to be able to bring these events to Central Texas," Dodds said. "Many of our student-athletes get to perform at home during postseason play, and we know they enjoy that."
UT's facilities are annually considered to host NCAA regional competition for Baseball, Softball and Tennis, and they also have the year-round ability to stage other sporting and entertainment events.
For instance, UT Athletics recently partnered with the Austin Aztex, a local professional soccer organization, to host State Farm Copa Aztex at Mike A. Myers Stadium. State Farm Copa Aztex is a unique soccer match that will feature two premier Mexican professional soccer teams.
This year's match, the first in the three-year agreement, will feature Cruz Azul of Mexico City and Tigres of Monterrey on Saturday, July 18, at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Erwin Center just played host to 29 high school and college graduations from institutions all across Central Texas, and this summer will house the Ringling Bros. Circus, as well as the Texas High School Coaches Association All-Star Basketball game.
The all-star game is held in conjunction with the Texas High School Coaches Association Convention, which also features a football all-star game that will be played at Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium.
"Our facilities are recognized as state-of-the-art, and allow us to host various NCAA, professional, entertainment and community events right here on our campus," Dodds said.