2018 Peach Bowl, Inc. Events Deliver $80.9 Million Boost to Atlanta Economy

Organization’s cumulative economic impact has now reached more than $1.13 billion since 1999.

ATLANTA (March 13, 2019) – College football games hosted by Peach Bowl, Inc. during the 2018 season combined to deliver $80.9 million in economic impact and $5.71 million in direct state and local tax revenue within metro Atlanta according to a study by Dr. Bruce Seaman of the Georgia State University Department of Economics.

The 2018 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (No. 10 Florida vs. No. 7 Michigan) provided $48.4 million in economic impact and $3.26 million in direct tax revenue, while the 2018 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game (No. 6 Washington vs. No. 9 Auburn) drove $32.5 million in economic impact and $2.45 million in direct tax revenue.

A sold-out crowd of 74,006 for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl included 52,727 out-of-state visitors who filled hotels and restaurants to help account for the economic boost. Further, the game drew and additional 9.3 million television viewers on ESPN making it the most-watched non-Semifinal Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in history.

The sustainable nature of these games and their value to Atlanta is realized in the cumulative numbers that have been tracked since 1999. Over those 20 years, college football games hosted by Peach Bowl, Inc. have delivered $1.13 billion in total economic impact and $65.96 million in combined direct state and local tax revenue generated within the metro area.

“We had two top-10 matchups last season that drew more than 144,000 fans,” said Gary Stokan, Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO and president. “We’re projecting an even greater impact this year when we celebrate the 150th anniversary of college football and host another high-profile Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game and the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. The last time we hosted a Semifinal we saw record-breaking economic impact figures across the board. With a matchup of No. 1 vs. No. 4 or No. 2 vs. No. 3, that will once again be the case for 2019.”

Since becoming a New Year’s Six bowl in 2014, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl has now delivered a total of $227 million in economic impact and more than $18 million in direct state and local tax revenue. When combined with the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, Peach Bowl, Inc. events have sustained an average economic impact of more than $83.6 million on an annual basis since 2014.

“It’s quite an accomplishment that the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl alone has delivered nearly a quarter of $1 billion in economic impact since becoming a member of the New Year’s Six less than five years ago,” said Bob Somers, Peach Bowl, Inc. chairman. “When added with our Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, our events are combining to deliver National Championship caliber economic impact results for our community on an annual basis.”

“That’s an important point,” Stokan added. “You have to remember that the economic boost from our games is guaranteed each year. The city doesn’t have to bid on or pay for the event and compete with other host cities like you have to do with a National Championship Game or Super Bowl, and the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl are annually two of the top five conventions in Atlanta.”

The economic impact study was conducted by Dr. Bruce A. Seaman, associate professor of economics at Georgia State University, who has researched and written about economic impact methodologies and controversies, and conducted many economic impact studies.

“Although the survey results will vary each year due to the locations of the participating teams, results of the Bowl’s annual economic impact study show that college football is an important contributor to the economies of Atlanta and Georgia.” Dr. Seaman said. “College football resonates in Atlanta like nowhere else, attracting visitors by the tens of thousands. These are high-value visitors due to the large amounts of money they spend in the aggregate on transportation, lodging, meals and entertainment while they are here.”

“While there are many ways to measure economic impact with regard to these mega-events, and different studies apply a variety of adjustments when calculating economic impact, we have tried to avoid overstatements with our approach,” Dr. Seaman added. “Atlanta’s events may appear to be lower than some other cities, but we stand by our methodology in providing the most accurate actual impact that is available.”

The following chart shows the weighted average amount spent per person (including taxes) by the non-Georgia based fans who stayed in hotels or bed & breakfasts, out of the 74,006 fans who attended last year’s Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

Expenditure per person Average Spend (Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl)
Hotel per day (adjusted for room occupancy) $46.90
Food & Beverage per day $55.76
Transportation per day $21.25
Stadium (excluding ticket) $55.13
Shopping total stay $62.64
Average length of stay 2.1  nights

2018 Season and Cumulative Impact by the Numbers: Metro Atlanta

Event Eco. Impact (2018 Season)
Eco. Impact (Cumulative)
Tax Revenue (2018 Season) Tax Revenue (Cumulative)
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl $48.4 M $695.7 M $3.26 M $37.96 M
Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games $32.5 M $430 M $2.45 M $28 M
TOTAL $80.9 M $1.13 B $5.71 M $65.96 M

Adjustments were made to account for displaced spending that would have occurred without the games, for the proportion of visitor spending actually captured by regional vendors and for motivations for visiting the region not directly associated with the games.              

This year’s College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl will be played on Dec. 28 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The game will match two of the nation’s top four teams as assigned by the College Football Playoff selection committee.

Over Labor Day weekend, Peach Bowl, Inc. will also host a matchup between Duke vs. Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on Aug. 31.

Last year was another milestone season for Peach Bowl, Inc. in terms of total attendance (144,109 for two sellouts), television viewership (15.4 million) and total team payouts ($20.3 million). In addition, college football’s most charitable bowl organization contributed a record $10.1 million in charitable and scholarship giving.


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