The folks at Discover Kalamazoo have crunched the numbers and produced a report on what the 40 or so sporting events in the greater Kalamazoo area in 2021 meant to the area's economy.

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And the answer is "$15.4 million in estimated direct visitor spending". The report says this number is derived from the "more than 20,000 youth, amateur, college and professional athletes (who) competed in various sports events and tournaments held throughout the Kalamazoo area, contributing to the region’s local economy by discovering Kalamazoo through a combination of activities such as lodging, transportation, food & beverage, retail, recreation, space rental, and other business services."

The biggest impact comes from the U.S.T.A. Junior Nationals at Stowe Stadium at Kalamazoo College. Those Junior Nationals attract 470 athletes, coaches, and various event personnel, and in turn, those people use 2,880 nights in hotel rooms and of course, they eat and drink, and the estimated direct economic impact of $1,211,397.

Behind that, MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals brought in nearly 1,000 athletes, coaches, and various event personnel using 590 nights in hotel rooms making an impact of $704,488. (If you factor in the high school teams' Finals, then that number is almost equal to the USTA Junior Nationals.

Third on the list is the U.S. Figure Skating’s National Solo Dance Finals which was hosted by the Greater Kalamazoo Skating Association. That even equaled nearly 300 participants and related personnel for 528 room nights and that meant just over $500,000 to the Kalamazoo economy.

Not every event happens in Kalamazoo annually, but like the KOHA U.S. National earlier in April, they do bring in participants and visitors. While that money most directly benefits those businesses involved, after the two difficult years that restaurants have experienced, the income and for staff, gratuities, are certainly welcome. And while not mentioned in this report, the Kalamazoo Wings have some 40 home dates as do the Kalamazoo Growlers, and there are numerous Western Michigan University sporting events.

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