Scoring the College Football Playoff National Championship was worth every ounce of blood, sweat and tears that went in to the massive undertaking, according to the Arizona Organizing Committee.
The group announced Wednesday that the Alabama vs. Clemson game at University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale and the activities related to it generated $273.6 million for the state.
"We have these games because they serve as a point of pride for the community," Brad Wright, the Arizona Organizing Committee co-chair, said. "They're an opportunity for us to come together and to celebrate who we are and to show off a little bit for our friends from out of town, who we are as a community and as a state."
Notable numbers released:
- 65,401 - number of out-of-state visitors
- 3.88 - average number of nights visitors stayed
- $467.93 - average spent by each visitor per day who attended the game
- $523.93 - average spent by each visitor per day who did not attend the game
- 200,000 - estimated number of people who attended events at the Championship Campus and downtown.
The committee commissioned the economic study by the L. William Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business. The researchers surveyed visitors from out-of-state to get the results.
According to the report, the 2016 CFP National Championship Game was the most lucrative of all of the collegiate football championships played here, easily surpassing 2011's BCS game by nearly $70 million.
Hosting events of this magnitude comes with a price tag before the first ticket is even purchased.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said there is a significant amount of fundraising to provide free events. Overtime alone for public safety takes a chunk from the city budget.
"Some still question should we compete for these mega events," Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. "At least in my mind the answer is 'yes'. There is a pay off both short-term and long-term for our community."
The $273.6 million figure also includes an estimate of $12.2 million in direct state, local and county sales tax revenue and $1 million raised through sponsorships that went to local schools for classroom projects.
As part of the events, the committee hosted a CEO forum for out-of-state business leaders with the hopes of attracting them to set up shop in the Valley. The Arizona Commerce Authority said four companies that were represented at the forum plan to move to the Phoenix area; ZipRecruiter and Gabriel Partners are two that are expanding and Carlisle is relocating. The fourth company has not yet made their move public, said officials.
"No state or governor does a better job of leveraging these mega events to drive economic development and to show why this state is the best place to live, to work and to invest in your business," Wright said.
Arizonans should expect a "major announcement" in the near future
Also, Governor Doug Ducey said Arizonans should expect a "major announcement" in the near future related to economic development.