Florida TaxWatch Looks at How COVID-19‘s Impact on College Football Hinders the Economy

With the Florida Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs getting ready to renew their rivalry in Jacksonville on Saturday, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released a report on how COVID-19 restrictions on college football are impacting the Sunshine State’s economy.

FTW unveiled “College Football in the COVID-19 Era: the Economic Impact of a Restricted Season” on Thursday. The new study shows college football continues to be a major source of revenue for several universities across Florida–and the current restrictions will impact it.

“Assuming a conservative 25 percent reduction in team revenues from the previous 2018-2019 season, Florida’s college football teams could lose up to $70.8 million in total revenue due to COVID-19 restrictions on fan activity and spending. A decrease of 50 percent in team revenues would have far more devastating effects with revenue losses potentially reaching $141.5 million. For schools such as Florida State University, the University of Miami, the University of South Florida, and Florida Atlantic University, which reported net profits of $0 in the 2018-2019 season, these revenue reductions could create huge budget deficits over the coming years,” FTW noted.

Dominic Calabro, the president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, noted that other industries outside higher education are also being affected as the pandemic continues to impact college football.

“For communities across Florida the COVID-19 induced restrictions on college football game fan participation and spending is likely to have negative impacts on tax revenues, local small businesses, and jobs,” Calabro said on Thursday. “In our latest economic commentary, Florida TaxWatch finds that even a five percent reduction in leisure and hospitality jobs from lower spending in Boca Raton, Gainesville, Miami, Orlando, Tallahassee, and Tampa would cost nearly 26,000 jobs equaling more than $665 million in lost wages. If realized, these losses will not only hurt workers, families, and businesses but also the local government programs that rely on their tax revenues.”

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

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