Sunday, September 28, 2003

The Reds factor: Every season a winner

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.

The Reds factor: Every season a winner
Hot corner

Keep the noise down
It will take time
Hunt them down
New leader talks about future of Catholic schools
Readers pose solutions to ease traffic on Brent Spence bridge
Readers' Views