Do winning sports teams impact the economy? Expert weighs in

Morning In America

(NewsNation) — A new American city has emerged as the pinnacle of the professional sports world. Some now calling Tampa, Florida, America’s city of champions.

Tampa Bay, or as sports fans are now calling it “Champa Bay,” has emerged as arguably the most successful sports city in the U.S. 2020 saw all three of Tampa’s pro sports teams, the Rays, the Buccaneers, and the Lightning, playing for their leagues’ respective championships. The Bucs and Lightning won it all.

But does having successful, winning sports teams make an economic impact on the city?

Temple University professor of economics Michael Leeds said it doesn’t.

“It’s a very nice thing for the city. I’m very happy for Tampa and for the residents of the Tampa Bay area, but in terms of being an engine for economic growth for the city, best not to count on it,” Leeds said on NewsNation’s “Morning in America.”

Leeds even said that the sports industry only accounts for less than half of 1% of the total economy.

“If all three teams disappeared from Tampa, you would still have 99.5% of your economy. So you’re really not talking about a lot of money here,” Leeds said.

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