What does the return of sports mean for our local economy? – StrathmoreNow.com


Sports are back in action! Whether it’s local teams like the Wheatland Kings or the Strathmore High School Spartans, or professional leagues like the NFL and MLB, it’s a great time to be a sports fan. And that’s not even including the return of the NHL and NBA in October!

While this is exciting for sports fans, it’s not just the sports fans who celebrate. Strathmore Wheatland Chamber of Commerce (SWCC) Executive Director Scott Silva said this is also a great time for local businesses.

“Our local sports teams, everything from our Heritage B Junior B teams and even our AAA and Bantam teams, make a huge impact on the city and the region. You can see that all of our arenas are packed on the weekends. It’s great not just for everyone at the Chamber of Commerce, all of our business members, but for the entire business community,” he said.

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A big reason local sports are so great for our companies is that visiting teams may want to take advantage of some of Strathmore’s great hospitality offerings.

“A lot of these teams, because they’re going out here, they either have to do everything, possibly refuel, they might have to get something to eat, they might even spend the night.”

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While hospitality has the most to gain, Silva said that all businesses could see more customers, “There’s still an uptick in some of the indirect businesses that are likely to see some of that increase in traffic.”

Silva particularly emphasized the importance of local sport, but added that professional sports leagues could also have a positive impact.

“I think if you go to these local pubs, bars and breweries (to watch pro sport) you will see a lot more. I think the return of major sports for the industry will be tremendously good.”

Silva didn’t have exact figures on how much growth local businesses should see, but he estimated that a 10% to 20% increase could potentially be on the way.

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Local and professional sports should have positive effects all round, but Silva added that different businesses could benefit more from one compared to the other. For example, some restaurants and lounges might see a direct impact from Monday Night Football and the return of the NHL, while family restaurants might see many more sports teams following their community games. Either way, the return of sport is a huge win for sports fans and the community.

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