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The TaxWatch Research Blog is a forum where our research staff can address topics and issues in a short format. Keep an eye on this space during Legislative Session for frequent posts making sense of the activity at the Capitol. 

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Orlando Scores Big

As the NFL season came to a close and NCAA tournament brackets are waiting to be filled out, Orlando’s economy has positioned its self to score big. While the city is no stranger to hosting sporting events, as it is home to multiple professional sports teams and college bowl games each season, the start to 2017 has been a particularly strong one for sports attractions in the area.

This year Orlando was chosen to host the NFL Pro Bowl game, which is essentially an all-star game hosted the week before the super bowl each year. While the game is the main event during pro bowl week each year, the NFL has created events during the week leading up to the game to help drum up fan excitement. This year’s pro bowl week also contained various skill competitions that allowed fans to get an up close look at their favorite players. While these events were considered a huge success, they certainly did not over shadow the main event. The collection of the game’s best brought out fans in the thousands as Orlando’s Camping World Stadium sold out all 65,000 tickets to the event. Between the events during the week and the Pro Bowl itself, Orlando cashed in big. It is estimated that the city benefited from $50 to $60 million in additional economic activity for the week. With the city in line to host the Pro Bowl again next year (and potentially in 2019) look for Orlando to continue to build off this year’s success. 

Orlando is also gearing up to host a portion of the first and second round of this year’s NCAA basketball tournament. The annual tournament is a collection of college basketball’s best teams going head-to-head in a playoff format to determine the national champion. The event, commonly referred to as March Madness, is one of the most popular and televised sporting events each year. Orlando has worked hard to promote the event, even using local incentive dollars ($137,000) to market to fans. The investment is expected to pay off big as analysts predict the city could benefit from an additional $10 million in economic activity for the weekend.

The success of these sporting events has greatly benefited the city of Orlando. Local shops, restaurants, and hotels likely experienced a boost in sales, helping strengthen the local economy. As Orlando continues to host sporting events each year, look for economic activity to increase, helping the city and the state flourish. 

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