Taylor Swift’s Denver concerts could give Colorado economy $140 million boost

Taylor Swift’s visit to Denver will be brief, with two concerts this weekend. But her time here could fill some blank spaces in the Colorado economy.

“With her powerful performances that captivate millions of fans, Swift’s concerts have become the catalyst for an extraordinary economic surge, proving her indisputable impact on local businesses and communities,” Kelly Caufield, executive director of the Common Sense Institute, said in a news release the business-focused think tank put out on the economic impacts from Swift’s The Eras Tour.

Common Sense Institute researchers Cole Anderson and Andy Archuleta estimate spending associated with the two shows could contribute a net $140 million to Colorado’s GDP. That surpasses the economic benefits the Denver Nuggets’ championship series run generated, according to earlier estimates from the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation.

The two concerts will provide $38 million in ticket sales, or about 63% of the $60 million in ticket sales at Red Rocks last summer, according to the institute, which estimates another $11.4 million will be spent within Empower Field at Mile High during the concerts and another $121 million outside the venue.

A survey of concertgoers found they plan to spend an average of $1,327 all in, according to the institute’s report.

The concerts will be held on the home turf of the Denver Broncos — Empower Field, which has a stated capacity of 76,125. Applying that average spend from the survey to 152,250 concertgoers works out to $201.7 million in direct consumer spending.

The contribution to state GDP is lower than spending because of what is known in economics as displacement. A certain share of the hotel rooms and restaurant tables that Swifties are filling would have been taken by someone else this weekend.

Colorado’s $140 million figure represents spending above what would have happened if Swift had decided there was too much bad blood with Denver. Beyond the concerts, there will be a lot of parties and other spending opportunities for fans who weren’t able to secure tickets. The value of that activity is tougher to gauge.

A host of venues and even some corporations are trying to piggyback.

Denver-based Frontier Airlines has launched a sweepstakes for a pair of tickets to Swift’s Aug. 7 concert at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, along with airline tickets and two nights of lodging. The airline is also discounting some base fares by 89% through Saturday with the promo code SAVE89. Why 89? 1989 is the year when Swift was born.

Forbes estimates Swift’s The Eras Tour could go beyond the wildest dreams of cities lucky enough to land a concert, generating a grand total of $4.6 billion in consumer spending. That is more money than the entire GDP reported by 35 countries, according to the Common Sense Institute.

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