Think the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is all fun and roping?
The rodeo is all about Houstonians coming together and having a great time, but the HLSR economic impact survey, released Monday, shows its benefits extend well past funnel cake, concerts and good memories. The Rodeo also earns the city of Houston and local businesses millions of dollars every year.
People from outside the Houston region — spectators, contestants, exhibitors, contractors and sponsors — spent about $144 million in 2010 at the rodeo.
According to University of Houston professor emeritus Barton Smith, this money helps increase gross sales in the Houston region by $475 million per year, raising the local gross regional product by $320 million and translating into additional personal incomes of $290 million.
"This stimulus is almost certainly greater than any other sports or arts production in Houston and is comparable to the presence of a major economic base corporation with local employment in excess of 3,000 employees,” Smith says.
That's roughly the number of employees at the ConocoPhillips world headquarters in Houston. In other words, the economic impact of the rodeo is the equivalent to having a Fortune 500 company based here.
Additionally, the rodeo generates $27 million in local tax revenue, creates the equivalent of 7,265 jobs and increases the population by 16,000 people. If current spending patterns hold, over the span of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo's 30-year lease at Reliant Stadium, the government revenue will total $820 million.
“When you look at the results from this economic study, there are a lot of numbers, and sometimes that is hard to digest,” said Leroy Shafer, chief operating officer of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. “What it all boils down to is that there is no equivalent organization in the United States that is bringing this type of economic impact or that much entertainment to people and doing this much good.”