The closest Major League sports team might be in San Antonio (the Spurs) Dallas (the Cowboys) or Houston (the Texans) but sports are big business in Austin. The University of Texas (itself a major employer) and other universities University Interscholastic League (UIL) competitions the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays (a national collegiate track championship sponsored by UT and named after the school’s legendary track coach) USA Volleyball sanctioned junior tournaments and the NCAA Division I regional basketball finals bring more than $50 million to Austin each year.
Every home Texas Longhorn football game attracts more than 40000 out-of-town visitors and generates an estimated economic impact of more than $24 million according to Angelou Economics a local economic development and consulting firm. That doesn’t include ticket sales or extras. Out-of-town fans buy more than 40 percent of all season tickets. Including single-game attendees about 245000 fans contribute to local hotels restaurants retail stores and transportation systems.
Austin’s terrain and outdoor-friendly weather also attracts competitors from all over the world for major running events including the Austin Marathon and the Capitol 10000. Both races attract race competitors and spectators who add to Austin’s revenue via hotels restaurants and retail. In fact the city established the Austin Sports Commission to recruit professional collegiate and amateur sporting events to the city.
Austin’s status as the state capital means that government is another major industry supporting more than 130000 government workers in local state and federal positions. In fact the direct economic impact of the 140 days every two years that the State Legislature meets is more $27 million per session.