A new study values the impact of West Virginia University Athletics on the state economy at $302.7 million during the 2017-18 academic year, and its impact on Monongalia county at $78.8 million, according to wvillustrated.com.
This includes more than $246 million in fan and visitor spending. ““When you're bringing in 60,000 people for six football games and you're bringing in 10, 12, 13,000 in for basketball games, and then the other sports, what does that really mean in totality? I think now, we have a little bit harder numbers to say what we mean to this state and why it's important,” said WVU Athletic Director Shane Lyons.
The report identified WVU football as the greatest factor, contributing roughly $223 million on it’s own — more than two-thirds of the total — with men’s basketball coming in second at $35.5 million and a mix of other sports making up the remaining $13.7 million.
Armed with the answers to questions he’s been asking for nearly five years, Lyons believes the department can find even more, better ways to engage with fans and visitors and keep people coming back. “I want that stadium full each and every Saturday,” he said. “Same thing with the Coliseum.”
The economic impact analysis also revealed that WVU sporting events created an estimated 2,109 new local jobs.