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Economic Impact of Chicago Cubs 2007 Playoff Attendance

On Friday, September 28, 2007 the Cubs had not yet made the playoffs. Their game scheduled for that day, which would not even be a clinching game, had not even begun. However fans, and businesses, were already gearing up for the influx of business that would come with a Cubs trip to the playoffs.

Establishments in Wrigleyville, the neighborhood that is home to Wrigley Field, and elsewhere across Chicago, were announcing Cubs watching parties. Bus companies were transporting busloads of fans to the regular-season-ending series in Cincinnati. The game announcers estimated that over half of the fans for the first game of the series were Cubs fans. They also announced that many more Cubs fans were on their way, and no hotel rooms were available. As one business owner stated, “when the Cubs win, everybody wins.”

As part of our periodic series delineating the Economic Impact of Events, we offer this estimate of the economic impact of the Cubs making the playoffs on the Chicago economy.

We estimate that even if the Cubs don’t make it out of the first round, their accomplishment could benefit the Chicago economy by more than $10 million. Should the Cubs make it all the way through the World Series, that impact could rise to exceed $60 million. These figures account only for the expenditures of fans attending the games. An additional economic impact is expected from spending by fans not at the game, but such spending is difficult to accurately gauge, and is not estimated here.

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