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Report: Orange Bowl still economic player in South Florida

Defensive MVP Clemson Tigers linebacker Ben Boulware (10) and offensive MVP quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) at right, after Clemson defeats Oklahoma during the Orange Bowl game at New Miami Stadium on Thursday, December 31, 2015. Also pictured: former Orange Bowl president and chair Lee Stapleton (middle).
Defensive MVP Clemson Tigers linebacker Ben Boulware (10) and offensive MVP quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) at right, after Clemson defeats Oklahoma during the Orange Bowl game at New Miami Stadium on Thursday, December 31, 2015. Also pictured: former Orange Bowl president and chair Lee Stapleton (middle). adiaz@miamiherald.com

The 2015-16 Orange Bowl generated $227.7 million in economic impact for South Florida, according to a study commissioned by organizers.

The study by Rockport Analytics concluded that Orange Bowl events between May 2015 and April 2016, headlined by the 2015 College Football Playoff Semifinal, drew 80,000 visitors to the region.

Among the other benefits: More than $31 million in new taxes, more than 1,900 full- and part-time jobs with nearly $70 million in wages, and nearly $66 million in media exposure, including 15.6 million ESPN viewers.

“The Orange Bowl Committee was created more than 80 years ago with the stated mission of generating tourism for South Florida through an annual football game and supporting events,” Eric Poms, Orange Bowl CEO, said in a statement. “In addition to generating significant economic impact, the public’s support of the game and our events enable the Orange Bowl to give back to our community. The ability to host a College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl every three years is a tremendous opportunity to showcase all of the amenities South Florida has to offer visitors.”

In Miami-Dade County, the Trump National Doral was home base for the Oklahoma Sooners and their fans.

“The Capital One Orange Bowl has been a staple of our community since the 1930s, and its impact on our region is far-reaching, supporting jobs and providing a valuable boost to our economy,” William D. Talbert III, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, told the Sun Sentinel. “Over the next 10 years, we look forward to hosting three more exciting playoff semifinals and aim to host at least one College Football Playoff National Championship in the near future.”

In Broward County, the 998-room Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood was among the hotels that benefited from hosting players and fans of the Capital Orange Bowl semifinal game.

“It’s a win-win for Broward County, which welcomes thousands of celebrating sports enthusiasts each year for the game and events leading up to it,” said Stacy Ritter, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

In the past, experts have questioned the true impact of bowl events to the South Florida economy because they occur during the height of tourist season, when hotels are already full. It is unclear from studies whether game visitors genuinely increase visitor numbers or simply displace others who still would visit during the holidays.

The Miami Herald asked to review the economic impact study, but organizers said their analysis was proprietary.

Clemson defeated Oklahoma 37-7 at the 2015 Capital One Orange Bowl held at New Miami Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins.

This report was supplemented by material from the Sun Sentinel.

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