Editor’s note: The following economic analysis was provided by the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri (EDCKC). The opinions expressed in this commentary are the author’s alone.
Kansas City, Missouri, has recently been the epicenter of two gargantuan events: Taylor Swift’s Eras concerts and the NFL Draft. Both events have left significant economic imprints on the city. But which packed a bigger punch? Comparing statistics like these can be apples to oranges, or encores to touchdowns, as analysts measure impact using different methods. However, regardless of the methods, the impact of each is staggering.
Taylor Swift’s Eras concerts: A swift surge of economic power
Swift’s Historic Tour: According to Fortune, a data report from research company QuestionPro suggests that The Eras Tour has the potential to generate a staggering $4.6 billion in consumer spending in the United States alone. This figure is astounding and solidifies Swift’s venture as one of the most significant tours of all time, considering its overall impact on the economy.
But what about Kansas City?
Concert expenditures unpacked:
- Ticket Sales: With an average ticket price of $1,200 and 74,000 tickets sold, ticket sales alone generate a staggering $88.8 million.
- Beyond the Ticket: For most concerts, every $100 ticket translates to an additional $300 on local amenities. Swifties, however, are in a league of their own, splurging between $1,300 to $1,500 on merchandise, dining, and other luxuries. This means each Swiftie contributes between $2,500 to $2,700 per concert, resulting in an impact of $185 million to nearly $200 million for the two-night extravaganza at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
- Tax Boon: These concerts will pour approximately $5.66 million in taxes into state and local coffers and add another $1.33 million to the stadium maintenance fund.
The NFL Draft in Kansas City: A touchdown for local economy
- Economic Windfall: The NFL Draft 2023 showered Kansas City with a robust $164.3 million.
Where the money went:
- Direct Infusion: The event funneled $108.8 million directly into the city.
- Indirect Boost: An additional $55.5 million was felt as an indirect ripple effect.
- Spending Spectrum: Visitors to the city splashed out on accommodations (60 percent), food and beverages (18 percent), business services (8 percent), transportation (6 percent), and retail/recreational services (4 percent).
Civic Pride: Echoing the city’s pride and success, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas celebrated the dual achievements of the Draft — an economic windfall and global viewership, further augmented by appearances from the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Verdict: Swift’s concerts or the NFL Draft?
On a per-night basis, Swift’s concerts seemingly overshadow the economic footprint of the multi-day NFL Draft. While the Draft brought a comprehensive economic boon to Kansas City, Swift’s concerts, compressed into just two nights, rivaled this impact.
Both Taylor Swift’s concerts and the NFL Draft illustrate the immense power of entertainment and sports in supercharging a city’s economy. While the Draft’s influence was spread over several days, Swift’s two-night magic brought an equally dazzling economic shower to Kansas City. One thing’s for sure: Kansas City emerged as the ultimate winner.
But if you think TSwift is the Queen of economic impact, According to CBS News: Beyoncé (scheduled to perform in Kansas City on October 1st) could outperform Taylor Swift by an additional 25 percent. An influx of Beyoncé fans for two May shows in Stockholm, Sweden, also made an economic impact there. Hotel prices skyrocketed and inflation bumped up 0.2 percent that month, Danske Bank Chief Economist, Michael Grahn, told the Financial Times. He described her impact on the economy as “very rare.”
So, the obvious next question: can a little soccer tournament do even better in 2026?