RENO, Nev. - The Wolf Pack athletics department contributed at least $18.5 million to the economy in northern Nevada for the 2009-10 fiscal year, according to a study completed by the Center for Regional Studies at the University of Nevada.
The annual business operations of the athletics department provide a local economic impact of $14 million. Out-of-town visitors traveling to the region to attend Nevada's athletics events generated an additional $4.5 million for the local community.
"The northern Nevada community has been very good to Nevada Athletics, and we are proud that our presence contributes a significant economic impact and can help make Reno-Sparks a great place to live, work, study, and visit," Nevada Director of Athletics Cary Groth said.
Nevada's economic impact supports a total of 261 full-time jobs in the region annually, according to the study. In addition to the 89 people that the department employs, the athletics department supports an additional 172 jobs in the local community through its direct, indirect and induced impact.
Wolf Pack student-athletes, coaches and staff also logged over 2,500 hours of community service in 2009-10, which is valued at almost $50,000 according to the Bureau of Labor statistics.
The economic impact study takes into account the athletics department's purchases of goods and services during ongoing business operations, employee wages, capital improvements to facilities owned/operated by the department and expenditures by non-local visitors attending athletic events.
The study does not include other impacts the athletics department has on the community such as expenditures to local businesses by fans attending athletic events (e.g., purchases of Wolf Pack apparel, spending at restaurants before or after games, etc.) or the value of the media coverage generated by the athletics department. Because Nevada Athletics is a department within the University of Nevada, the report also does not include economic impact to the university itself.
Nevada Athletics partnered with the Center for Regional Studies to provide a more thorough understanding of the economic value that the university's athletics department brings to the Reno-Sparks community. A more detailed look at the economic impact study and report can be found at www.nevadawolfpack.com.
"Having been in the northern Nevada tourism industry for many years, I understand firsthand the positive impact that Nevada Athletics has on the local community and economy," said Joe Kelley, interim CEO of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority. "I have seen many economic impact reports, and I believe that that the economic impact of Nevada Athletics, especially the impact of visitors, is probably even higher than estimated."
The University of Nevada sponsors 16 sports featuring more than 420 student-athletes. Nevada hosts over 125 athletics events in northern Nevada each year. The Wolf Pack is currently a member of the Western Athletic Conference and will be moving to the Mountain West Conference starting in 2012-13. Nevada has captured 20 WAC championships in the last 11 years, while the Wolf Pack's graduation success rate is at its all-time high of 75 percent and 324 student-athletes have graduated in past five years. The university has also been recognized nationally for its commitment to gender equity and diversity.
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