Cobb County expected to get economic windfall from World Series

Cobb County can expect an economic windfall of at least $5 million each night that Truist Park hosts the World Series, says an Emory economic and business professor.  

“It could go up to about $10 million per night, but that figure might be on the high side,” said Tom Smith of the Goizueta Business School. “But I think you’re looking at somewhere between $15 million and $30 million if all three of the scheduled games are held.” 

Games three and four of the World Series between the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros are set for Friday and Saturday at Truist Park, with a potential game five set for Sunday. 

On Tuesday night, the Braves took game one in Houston by a final score of 6-2. Game two is set for Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park.

The Astros and Washington Nationals played in the 2019 World Series, which was the last Major League Baseball championship to be held before live, sold-out crowds before the pandemic. In 2019, Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for Washington, D.C., was estimating an economic impact of $6.5 million with two home games at Nationals Park. 

Smith said the series won’t have as much economic impact on the rest of metro Atlanta other than Cobb County.  

“When you have an event taking place in town and most of the people going to the game live in the area, there’s just a transferring of spending from one activity to another,” Smith said. “Instead of going to Ponce City Market in Midtown, you go to the Battery.” 

The Battery is also holding watch parties for the series when it is played in Houston, which Smith called an amazing opportunity for those businesses.  

“These are days when usually there hasn’t been anything else going on at this time of year,” he said. “It’s going to be insane there. You’re going to have 50,000 to 100,000 people in your backyard for a few days in October.”  

The Cobb Chamber of Commerce doesn’t have a predicted economic impact from the games, but President and CEO Sharon Mason said all of the hotels in the Cumberland Community Improvement District (CID) are sold out.  

In 2018, the chamber commissioned a Georgia Tech economic impact study that showed the Braves bring more than $18 million into the immediate area around the stadium, an area that does not include the CID. 

Of that amount, $14 million goes to Cobb schools, Mason said, and $4 million goes to the local government. 

“In the long run, spending public money on a new stadium brings very little in return to the local community,” Smith said. “Most of the new stadium’s benefits go back to the team leasing the facility. It’s usually a very challenging task to find significant benefits for a community that’s funding the stadium.” 

This story available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.