The Breakdown | Explaining Southern California's economy
Business & Economy

Rose Bowl 2014: A win for local businesses

Stanford meets Michigan State in the 2014 the Rose Bowl, which is expected to provide a big boost for local businesses.
Stanford meets Michigan State in the 2014 the Rose Bowl, which is expected to provide a big boost for local businesses.
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Stanford meets Michigan State in the Rose Bowl on New Years Day and while we don’t know which team will win, economists say the event is likely to be a big winner for local businesses.

The 2013 Rose Bowl and Rose Parade generated more than $300 million in economic activity, according to Roy Weinstein, Managing Director of Micronomics, an L.A.-based economic research and consulting firm. That's the equivalent of 3,510 jobs in L.A. county.

“It’s hotels, restaurants, and limos, which are totally sold out,” said Weinstein.  “It’s taxis and food service. All of those things benefit.”

Los Angeles is home to many high-profile events, but Weinstein said what makes the Rose Bowl especially beneficial to our economy is that about two-thirds of attendees are from out of town.

“People come here and spend anywhere from four days to a week, on average,” said Weinstein. “That’s all incremental in the sense that it’s people who wouldn’t otherwise be here.”

In his study, which was commissioned by the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission, Weinstein found that those incremental visitors bring $140 million in incremental spending.

The events also serve as valuable advertising for L.A., when people in colder parts of the country have pictures of sunshine beamed into their living rooms, according to Weinstein.

“That’s one of these reasons these events always have a blimp,” said Weinstein. “They want to show people what Southern California is like during the dead of winter.”

Hotels mostly booked

If you’re looking for a hotel in Pasadena this week, good luck. There’s almost no vacancy, and what’s left is not cheap, even at normally cheap hotels.

You couldn’t get into the 2-star Pasadena Garden Inn and Suites for less than $550.

Instead, you could try the Westin Bonaventure downtown, which boasts on its website that it 'positions you in the midst of everything Rose Bowl,' even though it’s 11 miles from the stadium.

“We do see some lift being the largest hotel in Los Angeles,” said Larry McCue, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing. “We see a lot of fans enjoying the Southern California experience of seeing their teams in the Rose Bowl.”

This year hotels like the Westin Bonaventure get a double boost, because just as all the Rose Bowl fans leave, the BCS Championship fans arrive for the game next week between Florida State and Auburn.

“We’re going to get two bites of apple this year, two nips at the rose,” said Weinstein.