Jay-Z performs at the "Made In America" music festival on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012, in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
More than two weeks since the Made in America Festival took over the Ben Franklin Parkway, the Mayor’s Office released the economic impact of the two-day concert.
The festival generated at least $10 million for the city economy while covering all municipal costs associated with the event, according to Mayor Nutter. Nutter also says the festival netted hundreds of thousands of dollars in various tax revenues for City coffers. Nutter released the following statement:
Today, the Festival promoters delivered a check for $305,124 to the City. Coupled with an earlier check of $200,000, I’m pleased to say that the Festival covered all costs incurred by the City for what was a truly stunning event on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Financial considerations aside, this event gained global recognition for Philadelphia and showed what a great city can do working with the private sector. It energized our hospitality industry on a traditionally quiet weekend, brought thousands of visitors to our city and pumped millions of dollars into the city’s economy.
Econsult Corp., a Philadelphia-based consulting firm, developed a preliminary economic impact estimate. The firm estimated the concert generated $6.1 million in direct new net spending and $3.6 million in indirect expenditures. The Mayor’s Office says spending by Festival attendees on tickets and concessions were not included in the analysis.
“Labor Day weekend is usually a very slow time for hotels, restaurants and the whole industry,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation. “But this year, Center City occupancy (including University City) soared the entire three nights, averaging more than 90% for the weekend at very good rates. The last couple years, it was 66%. This means an increase of more than $2,000,000 in hotel revenue, spinning off tax revenue, restaurant receipts, and souvenir purchases and so on.”
Levitz also claims the festival helped improve Philadelphia’s image worldwide.
“Equally exciting was the international media coverage: we have tracked well over 6,000 pickups so far including print, online and electronic,” said Levitz. “When you add in the global chatter on all social media platforms, the sound of Philadelphia will continue to resonate, giving strength to our great city’s image as the place to be.”
Festival promoters also estimate 1.5 million viewers both nationwide and worldwide watched the live-streamed event.
Ed Grose, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association also says room revenues were $4.96 million for the weekend, up $2.17 million over 2010. The room revenues weren’t counted during the 2011 Labor Day weekend because of Hurricane Irene. Grose also says the occupancy rate for this past labor day weekend was 90%, up nearly 21 percentage points over 2010.
Econsult estimated $223,000 in total city tax revenues three days after the Festival. The Mayor’s Office states city officials believe the total tax revenue impact will be more.
Live National officials also say that 78,655 people attended the Festival and generated $5,049,924 in gross ticket sales.