Power of Sports Economy

Pittsburgh’s sports economy drives millions of dollars in direct spend to the region.

SportsPITTSBURGH works to maximize the value and impact sports events and meetings bring to the city and its residents. It improves access to sports programming and participation for locals through integration with key sports events. The SportsPITTSBURGH Team also serves as a coordinator between event planners and relevant community stakeholders to promote community engagement with events. Whether it’s community service opportunities or clinics for local youth athletes, the SportsPITTSBURGH Team helps make Iconic Experiences for participants and spectators alike.

The success of Pittsburgh’s world championship caliber teams, venues and events – rallying points for Pittsburghers near and far - heavily influence tourism, real estate development, media exposure, growth through relocation and community pride. Pittsburgh, the City of Champions, thrives on the pride its sports teams inspire.

Sports Tourism

Organizations like SportsPITTSBURGH are designed to attract and host sports events that provide high value to its region through visitation, tourism dollars and exposure. SportsPITTSBURGH has a strong track record of achieving these goals.

  • In 2019, SportsPITTSBURGH hosted 50 events which generated $97.3 million dollars in visitor spend, generating $7.37 million in state and local taxes.

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Direct Spending from Annual Pittsburgh Sporting Events

*All figures are the actual 2019 direct spend numbers

Professional Sports

  • Pittsburgh is home to three World Champion professional sports teams: Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Penguins and Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Combined, these teams attract 3 million fans into the city annually.
    •  With concerts and other events, that number jumps to almost 4 million visitors annually.
  • Over the last five years, these teams have:
    • Induced an incremental $6 billion in direct spending for the region.
    • Directly or indirectly created an incremental 10,100 average annual jobs with $3.2 billion in wages for the region.
  • The teams directly generate more than $50 million in annual city, county and state tax revenues and produce an additional $25 million of indirect and induced tax contributions annually to the city, county and state.
  • One in every two visitors to a Downtown venue attends a sporting event.

Collegiate Athletics

NCAA® in Pittsburgh

  • Pittsburgh was awarded 22 preliminary and championship events between 2018 and 2022 – more events than any other city.
  • These events are predicted to bring $42.84 million in economic impact to the region:
    • 2018 NCAA Division II Fall Festival – 6 Championships over 4 days
      • $2.09 million in direct visitor spend
    • 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Wrestling Championships
      • $12.98 million in direct visitor spend
    • 2019 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship
      • $6.86 million in direct visitor spend
    • 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship (Frozen Four)
      • $10.94 million in direct visitor spend
    • 2022 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship – First and Second Rounds
      • $ 7.75 million in direct visitor spend 

Economic Development

  • $XXX invested city-wide to enhance the local sports facilities (something we can find?)
    • UPMC Events Center (Robert Morris University)
    • UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse (Duquesne University/formerly Palumbo Center)
    • Miracle League Fields (Pirates)
    • Dock Hockey Rinks (Pens)
    • Montour Junction Sports Complex (Riverhounds complex in Coraopolis)
    • Lemieux Center and Development
  • Actual and planned developments around the stadiums (North Shore) and arena (Hill District) sites will attract more than $1.2 billion in private investment.