Reflective of their position as the most powerful professional sports entity in the Gulf South region, the New Orleans Saints in 2007 once again flexed their muscle in local economies by generating nearly $600 million into various sectors of Louisiana coffers.
According to a report by Chancellor and renowned economist and respected academic leader Timothy P. Ryan of the University of New Orleans, entitled The Economic Impact of the New Orleans Saints, the Saints continue to not only be an essential catalyst of the City of New Orleans' local, national and international marketing and advertising campaigns through their high profile standing as an extremely recognizable brand, but equally as important, by serving as an engine that pumps over $600 million annually into local parishes and the state. It is no secret that many of the surrounding parishes are dependent on the taxation dollars and ancillary revenues created by the presence of the Saints and the fans who follow the Black and Gold.
Of note is that the consistent positive attention garnered by the Saints upon the city and the region through national and localized television, radio and internet mediums helps create positive news in a city coveting positive national exposure in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the residual problems and issues created in their aftermaths. In 2008, the Saints will embrace their role as ambassadors to the city and region on an international level when they travel to the United Kingdom for just the third time a regular season NFL game will be played on foreign soil.
In a city that prides itself on hosting many of the largest and most high-profile events staged in the nation, including the recent BCS National Championship game, the ArenaBowl (set to once again be played in New Orleans in June of 2008), this weekend's NBA All-Star game, and the Sugar Bowl, it is the Saints that annually provide upwardly consistent economic market trends that generate income for the local and state governments through taxes, employment, services and capital expenditures, as well as helping to generate consistent tourism opportunities and revenues.
While sporadic events such as all-star games and conventions greatly help spur on the local economy, it the steady and consistent Saints' engine that continually generates much-needed dollars and attention into the Louisiana economic machine.
Ryan's study indicated that in 2007 the Saints generated, through state and local parish taxes alone, $27.83 million, a figure that increases steadily year-to-year by an average of nearly $2 million annually. Since the study was commissioned in 2002, the Saints have generated an estimated $142.5 million in state and local taxes, a figure that over a 25-year period projects to an estimated $172 million based on current inflationary standards.
Though the Saints' pouring of monies into state and local taxes is just one part of the equation, gainful employment and the consistently strong economic impact the team has is equally important and stands firm in both positive and negative fiscal periods. The Saints, according to the study, are responsible for the creation and/or support of over 4,600 permanent and part-time jobs in the New Orleans area, making them one of the largest employers in the region in either the public or private sectors. Those jobs create upwards of $200 million in earnings or income for residents of Louisiana.
In 2007, the Saints total impact on the economy, when factoring in direct spending, tax revenues, total incomes, total employment and tourism dollars, equates to the $588 million previously mentioned. And factoring in inflationary costs and increased exposure in 2008, that figure stands to rise to $627.85 million in the fiscal year 2008.
Over the course of a 25-year period (2002-2026), the Saints are expected to generate $12.02 billion in direct spending, according to Ryan. He also estimates that the total impact over the same 25-year period to be over $26.04 billion, with $1.23 billion of the monies to be paid in state tax revenues.
Thus as the Saints set to improve on their third place in the NFC South following their appearance in the 2006 NFC Championship game, it is evident that as a business leader in the Gulf South, who the true MVP is when all is said and done.
Which leads to the Saints' potential endorsement of the 2012 Super Bowl's return to New Orleans and the potential boon to the local and state economy that the world's biggest and most-watched game would provide. Though in the infant stages, the news that the Saints and the necessary local officials and business leaders are working on future plans to host the Super Bowl is certain to create a ground swell of support across the region. News that will certainly perk a local economy that could use an influx in the neighborhood of hundreds of millions of dollars in potential revenues for the entire region.
"The Saints are working with local, state and regional governmental officials and business leadership to determine whether a formal bid from New Orleans will be presented to the NFL to host the 2012 Super Bowl," said Saints Vice President of Communications Greg Bensel. "Mr. Benson and his family feel very strongly that hosting the 2012 Super Bowl would yield a tremendous economic benefit for the city, state and region and would be yet another example of how the New Orleans Saints are committed to rebuilding the area."
According to published figures from the Super Bowl XLII host committee in Glendale, Arizona, the expected economic impact of hosting the Super Bowl was projected between $300 and $400 million. Figures, to be sure, that would nicely compliment the Saints' already staggering economic presence in the Crescent City and beyond.