KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An improbable playoff run by the Kansas City Royals and a prime-time Chiefs win over the New England Patriots have put the city’s sports teams in the national spotlight, providing local promoters ample opportunity to show off the region’s other attributes.
That kind of attention has economic value, but the extent remains to be seen, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/1qb8WMz).
National broadcasts of the games meant millions of viewers’ eyes on Kansas City, and social media extended the reach. A Twitter post by the Kansas City Police Department, which asked residents to not commit crimes during the Sept. 30 Royals’ wild card game, received thousands of retweets.
President Barack Obama also brought more exposure to the city last week when he played host to Sporting Kansas City as Major League Soccer champions.
Professional sports teams attract game day visitors, who spend money on hotels, restaurants and shopping. But no one has shown how much value it creates, said Maury Brown, president of the Business of Sports Network.
“You cannot put a dollar value on the civic value of a sports franchise,” Brown said.
Bob Marcusse, president of the Kansas City Area Development Council, said sporting and cultural events are chances to showcase Kansas City to prospective businesses.
The nonprofit promotes the economic interests of 18 counties that straddle the state line and met with business people for the Chiefs’ game last week. They usually pitch ideas about moving a headquarters or building a plant near Kansas City.
Marcusse said he’s aiming for the “ah-ha” moment from business officials who realize Kansas City is a place that could help them attract talent to their companies.
“Once you flip the switch, then things become so much easier. That’s what those events do for us,” he said. “People now see Kansas City in a new light, and that lasts for a long, long time.”
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