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Featured Story

Study: Cactus League offers $810 million lift to metro Phoenix economy

Ronald J. Hansen - Arizona Republic

Cactus League baseball and its facilities helped wash an estimated $810 million through the Valley’s economy in the past year, up 29 percent from three years ago, a pair of studies released Thursday found.

Spring training directly brought in nearly $300 million from outside the Valley earlier this year, and more through indirect and presumed spending, the first report said. Baseball’s year-round operations and other uses for the stadiums helped bring in about $266 million, a second report found.

Together, the reports suggest an economic basis for the public subsidy baseball gets from taxpayers. It also puts a dollar figure to the reality of life in the Valley in March, when hotels and restaurants are buzzing with visitors.

“The Cactus League is growing stronger by the year and it’s a major contributor to Arizona’s economy,” said Gov. Doug Ducey during a news conference.

Of particular importance, 58 percent of fans who attend the spring games come from outside the Valley, bringing new money into the area.

The reports, conducted by FMR Associates of Tucson, found that two thirds of out-of-town visitors stayed in hotels, motels or resorts. About 56 percent rented a vehicle and more than a third of them took in other sightseeing activities ...

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