THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE

BRISTOL PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL TEAM

ON GREATER BRISTOL (TN-VA) IN 2012

                                                       

            This study measures the economic impact of the Bristol minor league professional baseball team on the Greater Bristol area during the 2012 playing season. The Bristol team is operated by Bristol Baseball, Inc. (BBI), a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Economic impact analysis measures the level of economic activity in a region related to the operations of any enterprise, such as a baseball team, a factory, or a college. The economic activity is measured in several ways -- including output, earnings, and employment.

 

            The economic impact includes both direct and indirect elements. The direct impact is the economic activity directly linked to the operations of the enterprise. The indirect impact is the economic activity in the community due to the spending by the enterprise on inputs, especially wages and salaries for employees. The total impact is the sum of the direct and indirect effects combined together.

 

            The Bristol team is a professional minor league baseball team affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates major league organization. The team participates in the Appalachian League which plays a short season during the three summer months. The economic impact occurs primarily in the Greater Bristol area during the playing season, although BBI is active throughout the year.

 

Economic Impact Summary

 

Total Economic Impact ................... $ 2,787,263

Earnings ................................ $  972,994

FTE Employment .............................. 122 Jobs

 

As shown in the table, the Bristol team adds $2.8 million to the value of production in the Bristol area during the season. The team adds $973 thousand to income levels and creates the equivalent of 122 full time jobs.

 

Economic Impact Analysis

 

            Economic impact analysis measures the economic activity in a community or region related to the operations of an individual enterprise or an entire industry sector. The economic activity is measured in several ways -- including production (output), household earnings, and full time equivalent (FTE) employment.

            The "enterprise" is any organization where production or value creation occurs. It can be a for-profit business firm, such as a factory or store, or a non-profit entity, such as a museum or a college. The "industry" is composed of enterprises. For a business firm, the impact is based upon the sales revenues of the firm. For a non-profit entity (such as BBI and the Bristol team) the impact is based upon the overall budget of the enterprise for operations.

            There are three categories of economic impacts -- direct, indirect, and total. The direct impact is the economic activity directly linked to the operations of the enterprise or industry, such as sales revenues and employment. The indirect impact is the economic activity in the community due to the spending by the enterprise or industry on inputs, especially wages and salaries. The indirect impact is estimated by using impact "multipliers". The total impact is the sum of the direct and indirect impacts.

            For this study, the economic impact area is the Greater Bristol area which consists of Bristol, Virginia, and Bristol, Tennessee, and the surrounding regions of Washington County, Virginia, and Sullivan County, Tennessee. Impact studies usually cover a period of one year, but since professional baseball is a seasonal activity, the impact effects have been stated in terms of the three month playing season in 2012. This impact study uses the RIMS II Impact Model and indirect impact multipliers for the greater Bristol area.

 

The RIMS II Economic Impact Model

 

            The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), part of the Department of Commerce, conducts studies and analysis of international, national, and regional economic matters for the government. To support their work on regional analysis, the BEA has developed a computer model -- the Regional Input-Output Modeling System, Version II (RIMS II). The model provides detailed estimates of the economic impacts of an enterprise or industry within defined geographic regions, such as counties, metropolitan areas, and states.

            The RIMS II Economic Impact Model has been used to measure the economic activity in the Greater Bristol area linked to the operations of the baseball team. The RIMS II impact multipliers used in this analysis have been purchased from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and are specific to the industries in the impact area.

            The procedures for conducting impact studies are detailed in Regional Multipliers: A User Handbook for the Regional Input-Output Modeling System (RIMS II), U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis (Washington, DC: USGPO, 1992).

            This impact analysis was prepared by Dr. F. Steb Hipple, Professor of Economics, East Tennessee State University. For more information, please contact Dr. Hipple at Box 70686, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee 37614. Telephone: (423) 439-5304. Fax: (423) 439-8583. E-Mail: hipples@etsu.edu.