Archive for Monday, November 19, 2007

Perfect record leads to big bucks

Lawrence economy still benefiting from game in KC

November 19, 2007


Lew Perkins, Kansas University athletics director, helped to move the Nov. 24 KU-MU football game to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. The game was originally supposed to be a home game for the Jayhawks. Despite the move's potential for loss of revenue for Lawrence businesses, the football team's perfect record has helped make up for it.

Lew Perkins, Kansas University athletics director, helped to move the Nov. 24 KU-MU football game to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. The game was originally supposed to be a home game for the Jayhawks. Despite the move's potential for loss of revenue for Lawrence businesses, the football team's perfect record has helped make up for it.

Three Questions with ... Chuck Esposito, who sets betting lines at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas

Chuck Esposito, who sets betting lines at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, discusses the odds of KU defeating Missouri, winning the national title and - that's right - posting such a successful season ever again

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Turns out moving the final home Kansas University football game to Arrowhead Stadium will end up costing Lawrence merchants and local taxing bodies more than the $713,000 that had been estimated just last spring, an economist said.

But frustration with the relocated "home" game shouldn't overshadow what has been a magical season, one that should more than payoff for retailers, restaurateurs and taxpayers, according to the economist who has studied the financial effects of college athletics on local economies.

"You can look at the glass as half full or half empty," said David Darling, a retired Kansas State University economics professor, who earlier this year crunched the numbers for the Journal-World on the economic effects of shifting the game to Arrowhead. "But, from my perspective, it's a very positive thing that this whole thing has played out the whole way it has.

"There are a lot of winners."

Topping the list: the Kansas Jayhawks, winners of their first 11 games of the season heading into Saturday's titanic clash against Missouri, with the winner advancing to next week's Big 12 championship game and a chance to play for a national championship.

Winning opportunities

Also winning, Darling said, are virtually everyone - businesses included - in Lawrence.

Here's why:

While Darling's preseason study concluded that the community would miss out on $713,000 in revenues by having the KU-MU game moved from Memorial Stadium to Arrowhead, the numbers he used in the document carried a series of assumptions.

None of those presumptions - about the number of fans attending games, tickets being sold, concessions being purchased or other totals for anticipated spending - assumed a perfect start for KU.

So, Darling said, while Lawrence this weekend will be missing out on plenty - a certain-to-be-sold out Memorial Stadium, a day of people visiting local retailers and the national exposure brought by ESPN's GameDay crew perched at the base of Mount Oread - it won't mean money out of pocket.

"It's an opportunity cost," he said.

Instead, Darling said, merchants should focus on the extra business that's come in as a result of KU's unprecedented success. KU's home attendance climbed for the third consecutive season, which put more people in the seats and, with each passing week, left them more likely to spend money.

For example, the Iowa State game is typically a snoozer on the schedule, usually played in chilly conditions and with relatively low stakes. But Saturday's game scored a sellout crowd, with an ABC audience catching a glimpse of the picturesque campus with Jayhawk fans comfortable enough to watch in shirtsleeves or, in some cases, simply blue paint.

Merchants couldn't help but cash in, just as they have been during each of the previous and progressively important six home dates.

"They hit their payday this past weekend - an unexpectedly good payday," Darling said.

Even merchants at odds with KU's athletics department have to give it to the Jayhawks. While Larry Sinks would have loved to have KU playing in Lawrence this weekend, he knows that the added interest and exposure already has boosted sales for his business.

Credit deserved

While none of the dozens of T-shirt designs he sells even mentions a Jayhawk - Kansas Athletics Inc. is suing Sinks and his company over the use of licensed words and phrases - sales of the shop's football-related T-shirts are up 20 percent from last season, Sinks said. Internet sales are up about 50 percent.

Thank coach Mark Mangino and his team for that.

"I think he's done a heck of a job, and he's the one who deserves the credit," said Sinks, whose most popular shirt styles include one with "The Fighting Mangino's" printed across the chest. "The store's gaining more and more popularity. I feel like we're becoming an Eskimo Joe's (in Stillwater, Okla.). :

"We're getting orders from all over. We've shipped to 39 states."

Jim Marchiony, an associate athletics director who has served on the board of directors for the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, said that while it would have been "terrific" to play Saturday's game at Memorial Stadium, the athletics department had no regrets about moving the game.

Playing at Arrowhead benefits the department both financially and in other ways, such as helping with future recruiting, Marchiony said.

"This winning makes Kansas a much more attractive program, and you combine the winning with what we're doing with our facilities, and it's easy to see why we've attracted the attention of some very good high school football players - which, in the long run, makes Kansas football stronger," Marchiony said. "That makes Lawrence stronger in the long run, and that's why we've talked about that from day one.

"What's good for the Kansas football program is good for the city of Lawrence."

GameDay to broadcast from Arrowhead

Don't have a ticket to the Border Showdown at Arrowhead Stadium? You can still catch some of the excitement - early - by attending the live taping of ESPN's GameDay.

The set will be in Lot C, which will be open to the public beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday. That way, fans can be in place for SportsCenter coverage from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., and GameDay's live national coverage - featuring host Chris Fowler and analysts Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit - from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Parking for GameDay is free, but everyone - even ticketholders - will be instructed to leave by 11:30 a.m.

The stadium lots reopen at 3 p.m. for pregame tailgating. Cost for parking is $22 for cars, and $60 for RVs. The stadium opens at 5 p.m., with kickoff set for 7 p.m.

KU-mu game coverage all week long

It's the Jayhawks and the Tigers. The final game of the regular season. No. 2 against No. 3.

Leading up to Saturday's 7 p.m. kickoff at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., we'll give you the details you'll need to cheer on KU. So brush up on the words to "I'm a Jayhawk" and look for these stories:

¢ Wednesday: If you go. If you're heading to Arrowhead, we'll tell you everything you need to know, from how much a hot dog costs to the easiest route to the stadium.

¢ Thursday: If you stay. So you caught KU football fever too late this season to score tickets. You'll be in Lawrence. Where can you watch? And what should you know?

¢ Friday: Anatomy of a rivalry. Does the clash between KU-MU date back to the days of Quantrill and John Brown? Or is it a more recent phenomenon, fueled by the likes of Norm Stewart?

¢ Saturday: The man behind the sunglasses. Just who is KU's head coach, Mark Mangino?


Richard Heckler 10 years, 6 months ago

It's the money that would be in many more merchants pockets that would be real over speculation of the future or speculation of any sort. There is a lot of energy being spent trying to pretend that local merchants money will not be lost on the KU-MU game day in Lawrence,Kansas. Money will be lost and that is the bottom line.

It doesn't matter how many games have been played or how many games are sell outs due to a great season local profits and taxes will be lost on MU-KU game day. Stop the sweet talk.

Why should local merchants be excited about losing huge sums of business on a KU-MU game day? Perhaps the KU athletic department will donate 10 grand to each local business using some of the EXTRA money the department take in as a result of a winning season? That should make the athletic department feel excited knowing they are part of our community and knowing that sharing is good.

LRT 10 years, 6 months ago

I find it amusing that the people in Norman, Oklahoma and Austin, Texas don't seem to have a problem with OU and UT-Austin playing in the Cotton Bowl each year and yet when the same thing happens a little farther north it's a huge 'catastrophe'.

PeteJayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

Even without the KU/MU game, the athletic department scheduled 7 home games this season, more than any previous athletic administrations have ever had. Perkins and his staff have helped create a great gameday atmosphere that rakes in money for local merchants, and yet that's not enough - despite already having had more home games than ever before.

I'm sure many local merchants realize this and are appreciative of the hard work of the athletic department; so I wonder if it is not so much an issue of the local merchants, or an issue of a local media company with an ax to grind.

CindiCat 10 years, 6 months ago

Granted, I think it "blows chunks" that the game is not in Lawrence but, hey.....not a whole heck of a lot anything can be done about it now. Deal with it.

I don't give a royal rip WHERE the game is played.

I am TOTALLY jazzed about this entire season. These young men are playing on all cylinders and no matter the outcome, I will continue to support them and CHEER loudly.

Are the people/merchants in Mizzeww complaining too? Who knows.........

For the love of God and all that is holy........Cry me a freakin river, build and bridge and get the f over it already!

Rock Chalk Jayhawks!!!

craigers 10 years, 6 months ago

This will give the Hawks a chance to play in a professional stadium and one of the loudest stadiums in the country. The majority of these boys probably won't play pro ball, so this is a great opportunity for them too. let it go people.

onceajhawkalwaysajhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

success breeds success....I agree that the teams accomplishments have been a big win for the local (non sports) merchants and they should be extremely pleased. The blood suckers like Larry Sinks, who's sole purpose is to exploit this success without paying for it is a crime and I hope that the athletic dept squashes this little roach.

OnlyTheOne 10 years, 6 months ago

1) Norm Stewart must be happy as ****, well as happy as any mizzou fan could ever be. He insisted on never spending money in Lawrence now lew and the pack have given him a dream present. 2) Wouldn't it be nice to have those TV folks, commentators, national audience, possible attendees, etc., etc. watching the game being televised from the hill and actually being in Lawrence - not KC? 3) What would've been the payoff for televising from here vs from KC? Bet not a lot of difference. Yea, I know, hindsight is perfect but it, moving the game, was still a stupid (yes I said stupid) idea. and I'm still waiting for a copy of the tape to hear exactly what the announcers said about the students and seating..... Support the team 100% - but as for lew well he can go away anytime.

FatTony 10 years, 6 months ago

Sounds to me like the economic impact is a wash, KU's home attendance increased again this year. I don't see Lawrence merchants giving any profits they make on game days to the athletic dpeartment. If these business rely so much on the marketing and tourism the athletic dpeartment provides them for free don't you think maybe they should chip in and help pay for some of the expenses incurred. The more I see businesses complain they are going poor because this stinking game is in Kansas City the more I choose not to spend my money at those places. What were these places going to do next year when the Mizzou game was in Columbia, were they just going to file for bankruptcy. Most of Lawrence small business is just a bunch of greedy self serving bastards.

Ken Miller 10 years, 6 months ago

The only way "Lew" is going away is if Lew decides he wants to leave. Lew arguably has more power and respect in the region than Chance Hemenway and any other KU official, because he turned around a laughingstock athletics program (yeah, Al Bohl, that's right) that now is making lots of $$$. When Texas comes a-knockin, let's hope Lew isn't home.

And yes, I realize that Al Bohl hired both Coach Self and Coach Mangino...but I believe Lew locked them up with big, long-term contracts.

FatTony 10 years, 6 months ago


Actually Al Bohl was fired in an attempt to make Roy happy so he would stay. Hemenway and an athletic department search committee hired Coach Self.

d_prowess 10 years, 6 months ago

I'm no grammar expert, but shouldn't the shirt mentioned in this article be printed as "The Fighting Manginos" (no apostrophe)?

FatTony 10 years, 6 months ago

Don't feed the bears-

Maybe you didn't understand the point. I will not rethink my position. KU is giving small business and the city of Lawrence thousands of part time residents who spend a lot of money, additionally they bring in tourism dollars for more than just football games. There are still the same number of home games with a higher average attendance than in many years past. I am all for small business owners investing in thier community, I am however sick of them whining that they deserve this game in Lawrence and that still having 7 home games isn't enough. Maybe you should be more creative and come up with your own marketing and promotion to increase your sales. Additionally the success of football as no doubt increased sales and traffic to Lawrence merchants selling KU gear Sunday through Friday. Stop complaining that because this game was moved to KC that you life and business is ruined. I don't believe it.

d_prowess 10 years, 6 months ago

With the game being late and Gameday being so early, it doesn't seem worth the hassle to travel all the way to Arrowhead for the show, get cleared out of the parking lots afterwards, and then killing about 4 hours before you can be let in again. Why don't they just move the broadcast to Lawrence and then drive to Arrowhead afterwards? I would think the environment would be much better doing this than having it in a parking lot off of a college campus.

Kontum1972 10 years, 6 months ago

hmmm..and just think how much revenue will be generated for Missouri esp the attorney's...for all the DUI's..the jail's will be busy that day and night. LoL, one would be wiser to stay at home watch it on the tube.

nothing like a little holiday jail time.....stuff your turkey with that!

Armen Kurdian 10 years, 6 months ago

There's no question that local merchants (OBTW, I don't live in Lawrence), will not lose money...they just won't be making the money they normally do. However, there may be a slight increase of people going to restaurants & venues to watch the game on TV, and I'm sure there's going to be lots of pizzas sold as well.

PeteJayhawk had a good point, there's already been 7 other home games this season. Still you can't blame a business for being upset that they lose a chance to make more money. That's why you open a business. To make money.

Flip side, Athletic Department has made the investment to have a national powerhouse football program, and I'm sure that's helping sell memorabilia and encouraging folks to go out to eat, drink, and maybe even pass through a couple of shops while downtown.

There's good points on either side, w/o the need to get nasty. A victory on national television in a big stadium will be good for business anyway. I'm sure local merchants will stop complaining.

MyName 10 years, 6 months ago


Richard, just enjoy the season and quit finding something to bitch about in everything.

ZOMG, I think I just found myself agreeing with Pilgrim about something! There's nothing quite like the healing power of an undefeated Football season.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 6 months ago

No doubt about it Lawrence is getting screwed and KU knows it. Why else would so much time be spent trying to make Lawrence merchants feel good about losing money. Remember when talk of sales tax increases surface again think what this day might be costing you for the next ten years.

KCMO is loving every second of this deal.

Haiku_Cuckoo 10 years, 6 months ago

Is there a listing of the businesses in addition to The Red Lyon that are calling for a boycott of the KU football team this weekend? If you know of a business that is involved in the boycott please post it. My conscience won't allow me to spend money at an establishment that discourages people from showing up to cheer for our wonderful football team.

beatrice 10 years, 6 months ago

Terrific. I quess with all this extra money coming in tuition will go down next year, right? Um, didn't think so. It just means more money into the athletic department (not saying this is a bad thing, but don't pretend it is good for the entire university).

My favorite part of the article is this: "it won't mean money out of pocket. 'It's an opportunity cost,'" What kind of lawyer/accountant mumbo-jumbo is that? So you don't need to spend money, you just aren't going to make any. In other words, the locals merchants aren't being ripped off, they are being screwed. Nice.

Moving the football game for greater profits is akin to outsourcing American jobs to foreign countries for greater profits. Either you stand on the side of what is right and good for America, or you don't. (yes, I'm kidding ... sort of.)

Fred Whitehead Jr. 10 years, 6 months ago

Just a quick note about the OU-Texas game. As an OU fan for most of my many years, this game was started way back in the days of college football when travel was not so easy as it is today. The Cotten Bowl in Dallas is approximately half way between Norman (OU) and Austin (UT). It afforded fans an equal opportunity to get to the game. The ticket distribution is equally spread between both schools, the crowd size is the same for each school. There never was any economic factor to the respective cities considered in setting up this contest. And it has developed over the years to the greatist rivalry in college sports, (sorry Michigan and Ohio State. OU fan here). It has been said whoever loses to the other had just better cancel the rest of the season (in jest of course) And it matters not who is rated where, this is an old blood feud (at least for a year's worth of bragging rights!). I do not think that the Red River Rumble can in any way be compared to this upcoming contest between KU and MU. But I do believe that a lot of folks are going to be affected in a negative way and that the Universities of Missouri and Kansas have created a very negative situation for their respective supportive cities.

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