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Jets Camp Has $5.8 Million Local Economic Impact


The New York Jets 2010 Summer Training Camp attracted 41,000 spectators and generated $5.8 million in economic activity in Cortland County, according to a study released this week by three SUNY Cortland faculty members.

Despite having five less training camp dates this year, the economic impact increased 36 percent over the $4.26 million figure for the 2009 camp. Attendance also improved by 21 percent from the 34,000 spectators who visited a year ago.                  

The report, which was prepared once again by SUNY Cortland Associate Professors of Economics Kathleen Burke and Timothy Phillips along with Assistant Professor of Geography Wendy Miller, involved surveys of training camp visitors as well as local business owners conducted in connection with the Aug. 1-19 professional football training camp at SUNY Cortland.

“The College is pleased that it could work with the community in bringing the New York Jets back to our campus,” said SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum. “The camp has continued to grow and to bring more fans from throughout the region and country to our community. Not only has it been important from an economic perspective, but it has allowed Cortland County to become a true tourism destination in August and a gateway to other parts of our state.”

                  Some of the 2010 report’s findings include:                                                           

  • The $5.8 million in economic activity to the Cortland community is a result of more than $3.2 million in direct spending by the Cortland community and SUNY Cortland in preparing for and running the training camp, as well as by camp spectators visiting the Cortland community.
  • The Cortland community expended approximately $30,000 to help prepare and host the Jets Training Camp. This spending accounted for more than $54,000 in economic impact.
  • SUNY Cortland’s expenditures account for 18 percent of the overall impact. These expenditures led to an economic impact of more than $1 million in the local economy stemming from more than $566,500 in direct spending to host the 2010 camp.  
  • The approximately 41,000 visitors who passed through the gate during the 2010 Jets Training Camp generated 84 percent of the economic impact on the Cortland community.  These spectators spent more than $2.6 million creating an impact of over $4.7 million.
  • Visitors attended camp from 32 different states and four Canadian provinces.  Most of the visitors lived within driving distance. New Jersey and Pennsylvania residents accounted for 54 percent of all out-of-state visitors. Nearly 90 percent of the visitors were from New York State, including residents from 59 of the state’s 62 counties.
  • Cortland County residents accounted for 17 percent of the visitors. Residents of seven adjacent counties — Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Madison, Onondaga, Tioga and Tompkins — comprised 41 percent of camp visitors.  Twenty-nine percent of the visitors came from other New York counties and 13 percent came from outside New York State.
  • Fourteen percent of the visitors reported staying for at least one night. Of these, 68 percent stayed in a hotel, bed and breakfast or nearby campground.  Revenue for the local hotels (in the aggregate) increased 34 percent in August 2010 as compared to August 2009.  Furthermore, hotel occupancy increased 5.5 percent as compared to August 2009.
  • A breakdown of visitors’ origins and overall direct spending reveals that the residents of the counties adjacent to Cortland County contributed 29 percent ($753,104), other New York State residents accounted for 43 percent ($1.12 million) and visitors from outside New York state tallied 28 percent ($747,407) of the total direct spending. 

The researchers first determined the total direct expenditures, that is, the spending by SUNY Cortland and the Cortland community due to the presence of the Jets along with the spending by the visitors attending the Camp.  They then used RIMS II, an input-output analysis obtained through the Bureau of Economic Analysis, to come up with a multiplier of 1.80 to gauge the indirect effect that spending had on the local economy.

“For every dollar expended, that dollar has a reoccurring impact on the economy due to its re- expenditure within the local community,” wrote the researchers. “This impact is called the multiplier effect.

“The direct expenditures by SUNY Cortland and the Cortland community were provided to us by each group, respectively. In order to determine the direct spending of the spectators, however, a survey was designed and distributed outside the gate at the Jets Training Camp at both the morning and afternoon sessions. Our survey data accounted for 10,424 individuals who attended the camp. Sixty-eight percent of these visitors were adults and 32 percent were children who came to SUNY Cortland to watch the Jets. Furthermore, only 32 percent of the visitors had visited Jets Training Camp in 2009.”

Lastly, the report highlighted the intangible benefits to SUNY Cortland and the community that resulted from the Jets Training Camp, in particular the extended free daily media exposure in the nation’s number one market, New York City, in national outlets such as ESPN and Sports Illustrated, and the national exposure created for the area by HBO’s Hard Knocks series.

Tangible benefits to SUNY Cortland, “the official University Partner of the New York Jets,” included more than 50 student internships and practicum opportunities at the 2010 camp. The College will be featured on the 360 degree LED signage at the new Meadowlands Stadium during all 2010 Jets pre-season and regular season games, will be provided one million banner ad views on the Jets website with click-through capability to the College’s website, and receive one pre-game and one post-game commercial during every Jets 2010 pre-season and regular season ESPN radio broadcast.

Additionally, two recruitment receptions will be held at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, N.J. SUNY Cortland received autographed merchandise and season tickets for use in raffles to support student scholarships and for donor cultivation. The SUNY Cortland Alumni Association also hosted receptions with the coaching staff in its alumni house.

2010 Jets Camp
This aerial shot over SUNY Cortland's athletic fields shows the 2010 New York Jets Summer Training Camp during practice.