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Sunday, September 28, 2003

The Reds factor: Every season a winner



PHOTO GALLERY
Panoramic GABP
10 Panoramic photographs from the Enquirer's award-winning photographer, Michael E. Keating
Any Reds fan worth a hoot will tell you a winning team is better, but win or lose, Cincinnati still comes out way ahead. Without the Reds, Cincinnati's claim to major-league city status would be rocked.

Some here may take the team for granted, but similar-sized cities without a major league club never do. The Reds have a unique ability to energize this town, particularly when they're winning and particularly downtown. But win or lose, their impact is huge and regionwide. Baseball's a game of numbers, but for the Reds' true value to Cincinnati, you have to look beyond box scores and RBI's to a different set of stats.

Here's a starter set:

Reds' estimated economic impact, direct and indirect, on the 13-county Tristate region in 2003: $253 million. (Source: University of Cincinnati's Economics Center for Education & Research, Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce)

Cincinnati's Census 2000 ranking by population among the largest U.S. cities: 54th. Cincinnati's size ranking (pop. 331,285) among cities with Major League Baseball teams: second-smallest, just ahead of Anaheim (pop. 328,014). Number of the top 50 most populous U.S. cities that do not have a Major League Baseball team: 27. Have-not cities include Jacksonville, Austin, Portland (Ore.), Albuquerque, Virginia Beach, Tulsa and Wichita.

Estimated economic impact from acquiring Ken Griffey Jr. in 2000: $40 million.

Economic impact on regional economy from each home game: about $2.5 million.

Jobs generated per year in local economy: 4,000.

Spending in 2003 in the community, excluding ballpark construction and players payroll: $50 million (Source: Reds)

Hotel room nights per summer from visiting teams' traveling parties alone: 4,100.

Amount that will be spent on Reds Hall of Fame this year: $10 million.

Amount the Reds spent on outside-the-budget items such as furniture, bas relief, food service equipment, video board, playing surface, statues, mosaics: $12 million.

Number of workers employed by Reds and Sportservice per game: about 1,800. Number of hotel nights used by Sportservice this season: more than 600. Amount purchased from Cincinnati food and beverage businesses: more than $5 million. (Source: Reds)

Number of games per season, including exhibitions: 83.

Estimated tax revenue from Reds related spending: $4.7 million - $3 million for Cincinnati; $1.5 million for Hamilton County.

City of Cincinnati's expected "jock tax" revenue from visiting Major League Baseball players per year: $588,866.

Additional weekend rooms occupied at the 450-room Cincinnati Westin Hotel downtown when the Reds are in town: 100 to 200 a night, up to 400 a weekend.

Percentage increase in summer walk-in traffic at Koch's Sporting Goods due to Reds games: 10 percent.

Percentage of increased business at Skywalk Baseball Cards shop when Reds are in town: 70 percent.

Number of cities that could attract visitors and conventions with the opening of a new ballpark in 2003: one (Cincinnati).

Estimated percentage of out-of-town fans attending Reds games in 2003: 55 to 60 percent.

The 10 rival convention cities that Cincinnati Convention Bureau views as Cincinnati's "competitive set" to beat: Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Columbus, Nashville, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Louisville, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Milwaukee. Number with a Major League Baseball team: six.

Estimated amount of the $112 million in direct local spending generated by the Reds in 2003 that comes from people who live outside of Greater Cincinnati: $75 million.

Percent of the $1 million in Reds-related Hamilton County sales tax revenues that comes from people living outside Hamilton County: 53 percent.

Estimated amount of spending by local baseball fans kept here that would otherwise go toward attending games in other cities: $13 million.

Cost of Great American Ball Park: $300 million. Estimated economic impact: $676 million.

Historic value in having the team that fielded the first professional baseball team in 1869 and also assembled such great teams as the Big Red Machine in 1975-76: incalculable.




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The Reds factor: Every season a winner
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