Military bowl generates $17 million in revenue for Annapolis/Washington

By Dan Sostek / Sports Editor

Even though the Pitt football team struggled in the 2015 Military Bowl, losing to the Navy Midshipmen 44-28, the team helped provide different kind of win that week in Maryland.

The Military Bowl announced Wednesday that this year’s bowl game generated $17 million of revenue for the Annapolis and Washington region, according to a report by Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau.

Steve Beck, Military Bowl executive president and director, was pleased with the result despite having a local fanbase — who would be less likely to spend on lodging and other amenities — with Navy in the fold.

“We are thrilled that the game continues to contribute so much to the regional economy,” Beck said. “Even with Navy participating in the game and a significant number of local attendees, our 2015 impact nearly matches the $17 million result from last year.”

Beck credits the Pitt fanbase for helping generate so much revenue.

“[The revenue generated] can be attributed in large measure to the outstanding job Pitt did in mobilizing its fanbase,” Beck said.

Pitt Athletic Director Scott Barnes tweeted out prior to the game that Pitt had sold out all three allotments of tickets — two of which the Military Bowl granted Pitt after the school sold out each preceding one — which totaled more than 8,000, and expected even more fans to travel to Annapolis.

Using the Event Impact Calculator on the website for Destination Marketing Association International, AAACCVB determined that the Military Bowl attendees accounted for $4.1 million in lodging, $3.3 million in retail, $3.3 million in recreation, $3.1 million in food and beverage and $2.6 million in transportation between Dec. 26 and 28.

“I was most pleased to see that flights from Pittsburgh to BWI Thurgood Marshall were sold out the day before the Bowl,” said Connie Del Signore, AAACCVB president and CEO. “Many of the BWI hotels were impacted by the Annapolis-held game, resulting in a truly countywide event that benefited every resident in Anne Arundel County.”

According to the release, the event supported nearly 8,000 jobs.

“We spend considerable time and energy planning events in Annapolis and Washington that will appeal to fans, and we know the support we receive from the local community is crucial,” Beck said. “We thank all individuals and organizations that work with us to make the Bowl such a success.”

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