Forget offseason; Amarillo sports teams support local economy year-round

Spring and summer time mean baseball, in the fall it's football and winter brings hockey. But in Amarillo, our three professional sports teams aren't just keeping people entertained, they're also a vital to our local economy.

With 50 baseball games, more than 30 hockey games and seven arena football games, the Amarillo Sox, Amarillo Bulls and Amarillo Venom teams are keeping busy during their respective seasons all while bringing in the dough. However, all that green isn't just being kept to themselves.

When you combine the revenue generated through ticket sales, which can cost anywhere from $6 to $25 per game depending on your seat location, with revenue from other things like concessions and payment to local employees, money spent locally adds up quickly.

"Our first night we're already looking at close to 2,000 to 3,000 people," said General Manager for the Amarillo Venom, Stephanie Tucker. "So, that itself is a lot of impact."

Chris Laurie, General Manager for the Amarillo Bulls, also said his team looks forward to big crowds.

"We are the biggest tenant in the Amarillo Civic Center. We have over 30 events a year," he said. "We're averaging 2,500 at each event."

The Amarillo Sox may have a shorter season, but folks still flock in numbers to the Amarillo National Bank Sox Stadium, spending more local dollars on tickets, food and an overall good time.

"We average about 3,000 fans a night," said Amarillo Sox General Manager, Mark Lee.

But it's not just local citizens that are spending their money with our hometown sports teams, it's out-of-towners, too.

"When visitors come to the city, they spend money on the restaurants, shopping of if they spend the night, on hotels," explained Amarillo Chamber's Convention and Visitor Council's Vice President, Jerry Holt. "But also the team, they have vendors that they buy products from in town."

On average, visitors coming to Amarillo spend about $3 million in the city each year. That money provides a lot of revenue for lots of venues or organizations in town and, said Holt, it also lowers our taxes.

"A lot of revenues that we generate are going right back into the city's pocket through avenues such as concession sales and even a portion of ticket sales," added Laurie.

With so much economic hope in the sports industry in Amarillo, the development of the new Multi-Purpose Event Venue to be built in downtown Amarillo is just one more way the city plans to continue using sports to boost the local economy,

"Boosting the economy here is something that we do," said Lee. "With a new ballpark and the development of what they're doing downtown, I think that will boost it by brining a lot of other people in."

"Of course with the development of the new downtown ballpark, that's just going to add to all of that in terms of ability to entertain both residents and visitors to the city," added Holt. "it will act as a revenue generator for, of course, downtown but also for Amarillo as well."

To view Part Two of this series, click here.