Volckmann’s memo does not mention the source of the $37 to $190 million economic impact calculation. It does reference data from the online Baseball Almanac showing that “the Midsummer Classic is a significant economic boon to hosting cities,” but no specific figures are attributed to the Almanac.
“These numbers are ridiculous and do not conform to existing studies of the economic impact of MLB’s All-Star Game,” said J.C. Bradbury, a nationally known expert on sports economics and a professor at Kennesaw State University. “If anything, studies show there is a negative impact on sales revenues.”
Cavitt could not identify the years that made up the data or what went into the economic impact calculation, but acknowledged that the game is unlikely to provide a big payoff for county taxpayers:
“The actual impact to the county bottom line is going to be minimal,” he said.
Volckmann said in the memo that the timing of the event will create additional impact.
“Given this will be the first national and international sporting event open to the public post-Covid and as more individuals will be vaccinated, we anticipate this event to have an enormous sociological and economic impact to the County,” Volckmann wrote.
If commissioners approve the expense, most of the $2 million will go to public safety costs for the game, such as training, equipment and housing for law enforcement, according to a spreadsheet that accompanied the memo.
Cavitt said discussions with commissioners on Monday to finalize the agenda for the meeting were completely focused on safety concerns. He also said that all sorts of other business and entities, other than county government, would benefit from having MLB’s annual showcase in Cobb.