Tampa’s First Major Coronavirus Pandemic Concert Festival Generated Millions of Spending and Revenue in Area, Economic Impact Study Says by Event Organizers
This year’s Sunset Music Festival, held May 29-30 at Raymond James Stadium, sold 32,231 tickets and likely generated over 9,000 hotel stays, which is a direct economic impact of $ 16 million.
The study brings that figure to $ 32 million when factoring in the indirect impact, which includes business-to-business spending and spillover effects, although this is more difficult to quantify.
But the hotel numbers match what Hillsborough County as a whole experienced over Memorial Day weekend.
Hotel occupancy rates from May 28 to May 31 averaged 80.6 percent, up 13.5 percent from Memorial Day 2019, according to industry tracker data STR. Inc. provided by Visit Tampa Bay – this despite the increase in the number of hotel rooms in the county to almost 3,000 rooms during this time.
Sunset regularly draws an international crowd; a zipcode sales report showed that nearly 71% of all tickets this year were sold outside of the Tampa Bay area, including to fans in all 50 states and six countries. This resulted in more than 20,000 out-of-town clients generating approximately 9,152 hotel stays.
The high number of non-local attendees has a lot to do with the fact that the festival takes place on the same weekend every year, said Rob Higgins, executive director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, which analyzed the festival’s sales data. and helped project the hotel figures, as is the case with major sporting events.
“People can plan it, travel and make it an annual tradition,” Higgins said.
He said the study’s estimates of four guests per room, staying an average of 1.5 nights per stay, were conservative but reasonable based on the festival’s younger demographics.
“We definitely wanted to take a conservative approach,” he said. “But it’s (an event) that’s been there year after year, and we felt good about the screenings.”
The festival estimated that by including hotels, locals would spend around $ 160 per day, while locals would spend $ 110. Over two days, that translates to almost $ 9.4 million in expenses. Taxable sales of tickets, merchandise, food and beverages generated an additional $ 7 million, according to the study.
Overall, hotel taxable revenue in May in Hillsborough County was $ 64 million, according to Visit Tampa Bay. As of May 2019, it was $ 57.8 million.
The Sunset Music Festival has already conducted economic impact surveys, in part to counter negative press caused by drug arrests and noise complaints. In 2016, the year after two participants died from drug overdoses, the festival commissioned a study that found it had brought 12,500 hotel stays and a direct economic impact of 20 million. of dollars.