According to a research note from Bank of America, stadium events, such as Taylor Swift concerts and the Super Bowl, have provided a significant economic boost to US cities. The bank compared the economic impact of Taylor Swift's "Eras" tour with that of Super Bowl LVII. Economists Taylor Bowley and David Tinsley found that when Pittsburgh hosted two Swift concerts in June 2023, average household spending in restaurants and bars increased by $77 and $56, respectively. Comparatively, households spent $96 more in restaurants and $74 more in bars when Glendale, Arizona, hosted the Super Bowl.
The bank concludes that while every event is unique and attracts different audiences, stadium events can significantly contribute to local spending. Bank of America also attributes the phenomenon of increased consumer spending on live events to "revenge spending," as people seek to make up for lost time during the pandemic by splurging on experiences and entertainment. Survey firm QuestionPro estimates that the first leg of Swift's "Eras" tour could generate $4.6 billion in consumer spending, with the average concertgoer spending $1,300 per show on travel, merchandise, food and drink, and tickets.
The Federal Reserve also recognizes Swift's impact on the economy, noting in its July Beige Book that three Philadelphia shows boosted hotel revenues in May. Despite the overall slowdown in tourism recovery in the region, May saw the strongest month for hotel revenue in Philadelphia since the start of the pandemic, largely due to the influx of guests for the Taylor Swift concerts.
In addition to Swift's "Eras" tour, economists also highlight other live events that have boosted consumer spending, such as the "Barbenheimer" box-office craze, Beyoncé's "Renaissance" concerts, and the National Football League. These events have contributed to the post-pandemic economic expansion, with consumers becoming more willing to spend on tickets for live events after years of lockdowns.
Overall, stadium events, particularly concerts by popular artists like Taylor Swift, have proven to be a significant economic boost for US cities. The increased consumer spending on tickets, merchandise, food and drink, and travel associated with these events has positively impacted local businesses and contributed to the post-pandemic economic recovery.