The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo has released a report detailing its economic impact on our area, and according to them it's vast.
Gross sales in the region are increased by a half-billion dollars each year by the rodeo, annual personal incomes by almost $300 million, more than 7,200 "full-time equivalent" jobs are created, etc etc.
The study was done by Barton Smith, the expert on all things economic in Houston, or at least the most quoted person on such things. And he certainly knows more about economics, not to mention math, than we do.
But we always have a hard time buying these "economic impact" studies.
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Reliant Stadium. Minute Maid Park: We think they were projected to bring in about $1 trillion each or something if we voted for them. The economic impact of having the Super Bowl here was, if we recall correctly, about equal to the Gross Domestic Product of France. In a good wine year.
Smith says the study shows the Rodeo just could not possibly be any better. He gets a bit oddly effusive, though:
It should be mentioned that Houstonians themselves find the Rodeo a natural setting to promote the city and its offerings. Thousands invite friends and family from all over the nation to visit and see Houston in its splendor during the wonderful spring weather of Azalea season, and of course, to visit the Rodeo....
Finally, 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.
"See Houston in its splendor during the wonderful spring weather of Azalea season"? Who could put a number on that?