Military Bowl pumped $18m into region
By: Liz Farmer | Examiner Staff Writer Follow Her @LizFarmerDC | 06/05/11 8:05 PM
AP file photo

The matchup between the University of Maryland and East Carolina University was particularly compelling, with Ralph Friedgen coaching Maryland for the last time.

The economic output of Washington’s annual college football bowl game more than doubled between 2009 and 2010 to nearly $18 million in total impact, a new report says.The spending jump was spurred largely by the nearly 26,000 out-of-town attendees — a number greater than the Military Bowl’s total attendance in 2009, according to the report obtained by The Washington Examiner.It’s a significant step up for the annual December bowl game, but it won’t guarantee any upgrades in venue. Instead, organizers are using the report to push for funding for upgrades to the nearly 50-year-old RFK Stadium

D.C. college bowl game gets big boost
2010 2009
Total gross impact $17.7m $7.7m
Total direct impact $13.3m $5.8m
Attendance 38,794 23,072
From out of town 25,660 15,557
Tax revenue $1m $438,967
Source: Washington Convention and Sports Authority

“I think it’s important to keep it in the nation’s capital,” said Greg O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of the Washington Convention and Sports Authority. “It was particularly apparent to us [in 2009] with the UCLA players, when they realized the [historic] Redskins [teams] played at RFK, you could just see the awe in their faces. I think we’re going to milk that as long as possible.”

He added that the Military Bowl is still building its reputation. By comparison, Houston’s Texas Bowl generated roughly $25 million in economic effect last year, while the Rose Bowl generated roughly $58 million.

O’Dell said switching in 2010 to a national sponsor in Northrop Grumman also boosted the game’s exposure. Eagle Bank was title sponsor for the December bowl game in 2008 and 2009.

“They’re marketing to their limited customer base,” he said of Eagle Bank, adding that the bank was still a key partner of the bowl. “And for us, having Northrop Grumman brought more resources from their side.”

The matchup between the University of Maryland and East Carolina University was particularly compelling with Maryland helping boost attendance as a local draw. It was also Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen’s last appearance on the sideline after 10 years with his alma mater.

Attendance increased by 68 percent to 38,794, with two-thirds traveling from out of town. Room nights at reporting hotels increased by the same amount to total more than 3,000. That out-of-town effect was helped by East Carolina fans who traditionally travel well and the Maryland football team staying in the District during bowl week and participating in sightseeing trips, O’Dell. said

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