HOUSTON – A study of the economic impact of RodeoHouston showed last year’s event brought nearly half a billion dollars to the city and created more than 7,200 full-time jobs.
Dr. Barton Smith, a professor of economics at the University of Houston, conducted the study using data collected from the 2010 show.
"While the primary benefit of the Rodeo is the unparalleled entertainment opportunities it provides the region and the large distribution of charitable giving, the Rodeo also provides a bonus economic stimulus to the overall economy that is significant," said Smith. "This stimulus is almost certainly greater than any other sports or arts production in Houston and is comparable to the presence of a major economic base corporation with local employment in excess of 3,000 employees."
The study analyzed $143,760,712 in spending by spectators, contestants, exhibitors, contractors and sponsors at the show.
"When you look at the results from this economic study, there are a lot of numbers, and sometimes that is hard to digest," said Leroy Shafer, Chief Operating Officer of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. "What it all boils down to is that there is no equivalent organization in the United States that is bringing this type of economic impact or that much entertainment to people and doing this much good."
Smith said the number of jobs the show creates is remarkable.
"Often local success in attracting relocating firms to Houston with an employment base of 100 new jobs is considered a major achievement, but such successes pale in comparison to the 7,200 permanent full-time equivalent jobs created by the Rodeo," Smith said.
Smith added it’s clear when looking at the numbers how important the event is to Houston.
"Add to all of these impacts the sheer enjoyment most of us Houstonians get from attending and participating in the Rodeo each year, and even with the explicit numbers aside, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo comes out a major winner for Houston year after year," he said.
RodeoHouston 2012 runs Feb. 28 through March 18.