Houston could score millions for hosting College Football Playoff National Championship
Fans from across the U.S. will travel to Houston this week as the Michigan Wolverines and the Washington Huskies play in the College Football Playoff Championship.
Visitors are expected to spend big bucks on food, hotels, transportation, and more, but ABC13 Investigates wanted to know who is footing the bill for the event and what the City of Houston has to gain.
Chris Massey, Vice President of the Harris County and the Houston Sports Authority, said the event will cost their organization $17 to $19 million to host. That covers everything from hotel rooms for players and staffing at NRG Stadium to putting on free concerts and events to drum up excitement for the College Football Playoff Championship.
"It brings tons of economic value and opportunity," Massey, who is also president of the Houston Host Committee for the 2024 College Football Playoff, said. "We want, no matter who we talk to, whether it's a week, a month, a year past the championship game happening, that they have that fond memory and can say, 'I remember when the championship game was in Houston because,' and their because could be a number of different things. It could be because they volunteered, because their business got a contract to support some of the goods and services that are needed to pull off a mega event like this. It could be because they got to go see an awesome free concert for their favorite artists that they didn't have to pay for ... or they just got to have a great time at the fan fest."
Massey said the event is "self-funded" through fundraising and donations. Sponsorships, ticket sales, and event proceeds also help foot the million-dollar bill, along with tax money collected as part of the state's Event Trust Funds Program. The program takes taxes collected during the event on things like beer sales and hotel booking and funnels it back to the host city or county.
When Houston hosted Super Bowl LI in 2017, the City of Houston got back more than $20 million from the state's Major Events Reimbursement Program..-----
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