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Missouri's move to SEC to bring estimated $185 million to Columbia

Thursday, September 6, 2012 | 9:55 p.m. CDT; updated 2:17 p.m. CDT, Friday, September 7, 2012

COLUMBIA — One hundred private planes are scheduled to fly into Columbia Regional Airport on Saturday, Mike Alden, Missouri's athletics director, said Thursday.

This is one of the many impacts the community anticipates from Missouri's move to the Southeastern Conference.

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The Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau and MU Department of Athletics announced Thursday the results of an economic impact study of the MU sports events. The three organizations commissioned the study.

The study projects that MU's athletics events will have a $185 million economic impact on Columbia in the 2012-2013 fiscal year, said graduate student Duncan Kincheloe, who worked on the study.

MU graduate students from the Trulaske College of Business Crosby MBA program conducted the study using data about ticket sales, television revenue, donor contributions and fan spending.

"We applied the same model as previous years, but combined the extra home game as well as increased attendance and increased ticket prices, and of course, a few extra fans," Kincheloe said.

Alden said the 2012-2013 estimate is right on target.

"I believe they're quite conservative, which is a good thing," he said.

Kristi Ray, executive vice president for the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, said Columbia will benefit significantly from opponent SEC football fans visiting the community.

"We had people from Georgia who were arriving last night at our airport. We've had them in our office this morning asking where to eat, what to do for the day, that sort of thing," she said at the news conference Thursday. "So the community benefits from the time they arrive in town until they leave on Sunday."

The study also revealed MU Athletics Department events accounted for more than $147 million of spending in Columbia over the 2011 fiscal year, which ran from July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011.

Supervising editor is Simina Mistreanu.


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