Bucks NBA Championship run: Milwaukee scores $57.6M in economic impact

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee Bucks road to the NBA Championship is estimated to have brought in $57.6 million in direct and indirect spending in the community, according to new data released by VISIT Milwaukee on Monday, Sept. 27. 

The numbers are from the three rounds of the playoff games as well as the NBA Finals. 

“We’re incredibly grateful that the Milwaukee Bucks’ fantastic run brought a vital boost to our economy,” says VISIT Milwaukee President and CEO Peggy Williams-Smith. “These dollars pumped much-needed life into many of the businesses that struggled the most during the pandemic, and they helped support thousands of jobs. I’m now hoping our beloved Milwaukee Brewers’ and their forthcoming post-season can do the same.”

According to the data, the total economic impact figures estimates spending at lodging was $8.4M+, food and beverage was $5.2M+, and recreation was $6.5M+.

Another fun fact from VISIT Milwaukee, between July 18-24, 2021, “Milwaukee” as a Google search term was more popular than it’s been in five years, according to Google Trends.

Here's a breakdown of the numbers: 

High-Level Estimated Economic Impact Data

  • First Round (May 22-29 vs. the Miami Heat): $2.7 million in total economic impact

        $1,491,687 in direct, $1,225,642 in indirect and induced

  • Second Round (June 5-19 vs. the New Jersey Nets): $12.8 million in total economic impact

        $7,030,063 in direct, $5,816,500 in indirect and induced

  • Third Round (June 23-July 3, vs. the Atlanta Hawks): $14.1 million in total economic impact

        $7,757,764 in direct, $6,395,664 in indirect and induced

  • NBA Finals (July 6-July 20 vs. the Phoenix Suns): $28 million in total economic impact (NBA Finals Game 6 alone: $5.8 in total economic impact, with an 82% occupancy rate downtown and a $240 average daily rate)

        $15,546,762 in direct, $12,656,750 in direct and induced

The total economic impact figures include estimates of spending at lodging, transportation, food and beverage, retail, recreation, venue rental, and business services companies. The data also include estimates of indirect impact and induced economic impact – the money spent between businesses to support this activity and the money spent by employees of those companies. The entire Championship run generated $1.107 million in total local taxes.

Total Estimated Direct Impact by Spending Type for Entire Playoff Run:

  • Lodging: $8,424,845
  • Transportation: $4,258,004
  • Food and Beverage: $5,219,209
  • Retail: $5,819,003
  • Recreation: $6,586,263
  • Space Rental: $38,521
  • Business Services: $1,210,430

According to VISIT Milwaukee, for the month of July, downtown hotel demand was driven by Bucks’ fans, sports media, the NBA, and a few corporate partners. There were relatively few other meetings and conventions in the market that month generating significant hotel demand.

Playoffs’ Downtown Hotel Occupancy Rates and Average Daily Hotel Rates (Includes both home and away games)

  • Round 1 (4 games): Avg occupancy 52%, avg ADR $128
  • Round 2 (7 games): Avg occupancy 50%, avg ADR $133
  • Round 3 (6 games): Avg occupancy 55%, avg ADR $136
  • Finals (6 games): Avg occupancy 64%, avg ADR $143

The data is based on attendance figures provided by the Milwaukee Bucks, room blocks booked by VISIT Milwaukee, and additional third-party information; it was calculated using Destination Internationals’ economic impact calculator for sports events, an investment VISIT Milwaukee made as it continues to attract larger sports events through the work of Sports Milwaukee.

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