The Economic Contribution of Grizzly Athletics

The entire spectrum of ways in which University of Montana’s intercollegiate athletic activities – Grizzly Athletics – enrich and expand the economy of Missoula is broad. Intercollegiate sports in general, and the University of Montana’s sports programs in particular, have grown in popularity, impact and visibility. While those programs have always been aimed at providing the opportunities for student-athletes to grow, develop and ultimately realize both their athletic and scholarly potential, the business aspects of the spectator sports activities – everything from spending by attendees to the marketing of apparel and merchandise – have important consequences for businesses, households and government in Missoula.


This study examines the size and scope of those economic contributions. Specifically, this study poses the question, “What would the economy of Missoula look like if Grizzly Athletics did not exist?” Using information from financial records, ticket sales, attendance, and a survey of Grizzly football season ticket holders, we have estimated how much larger the economy of today is – in terms of jobs, income, spending and population – than would be case if the Grizzly Athletics were not a part of it.

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