College Football in the COVID-19 Era: The Economic Impact of a Restricted Season

Every year, the arrival of cooler temperatures signals the beginning of an important season to many Floridians: college football season. Yet unlike previous years, this football season is shaping up to be unmatched in history. Stadiums that once filled with fans now lie mostly dormant as capacity limits and social distancing measures have become the norm. Masked coaches, referees, and even marching bands now offer a snapshot of what college football looks like in the COVID-19 era. College football teams serve as important economic drivers in their local communities. Not only do home games produce revenue for athletic departments and their universities, they also have a positive impact on the surrounding economy when visitors produce local spending, support various jobs, and generate tax revenue. Yet with the COVID-19 pandemic shaking up the season, it goes without saying that this college football season will be unlike any before it with enormous implications for teams, universities, and communities alike.


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