Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game Weekend Delivers $62.5 Million in Economic Impact for Atlanta

November 14, 2017

Organization’s cumulative impact reaches more than $995.9 million with $56.4 million in tax revenue.

ATLANTA (Nov. 14, 2017) – The 2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games featuring Florida State vs. Alabama and Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee combined to drive $62.5 million in economic impact and generate $5.1 million in direct state and local tax revenue within metro Atlanta.

The first college football games played in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium drew a total of 151,437 fans to Atlanta. This included two sellouts and a record crowd of 76,330 for the “greatest opener of all time” in the No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 1 Alabama game.

In terms of attendance, the two Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games represent the fourth and fifth-largest events for Atlanta in 2017 to date. More than 17.4 million additional fans watched the games on television, including the most-watched opening weekend college football game on record between Florida State and Alabama (12.5 million viewers).

“When it comes to delivering tourism revenue and exposure, college football is a critical driver of economic impact and promotion for Atlanta,” said Gary Stokan, Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO and president. “These findings, along with the fact the majority of the largest tourism events in the city will be college football games this year, further solidify Atlanta’s position as the ‘Epicenter of College Football.’”

In addition to this year’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games, Atlanta will also host the SEC Championship in December, followed by another matchup between top teams in this year’s Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on New Year’s Day, and then conclude with the College Football Playoff National Championship Jan. 8.

Although annual results vary based on the identity and location of the participating teams, results of the annual economic impact study show that college football is a significant economic engine for Atlanta and the state of Georgia.

“We are proud to be a part of something greater that has such a substantial impact on Atlanta and our entire community. This data is a perfect example of how significant a role college football games play in boosting our local economy,” said Percy Vaughn, Peach Bowl, Inc. chairman. “The Chick-fil-A Kickoff games are some of the largest ‘conventions’ we have on an annual basis.”

The sustainable nature of these games and their value to Atlanta is realized in the cumulative numbers that have been tracked since 1999. Over that time, college football games hosted by Peach Bowl, Inc. have delivered $995.9 million in total economic impact and $56.4 million in combined direct state and local tax revenue generated within the metro area.

The economic impact study was conducted by Dr. Bruce A. Seaman, associate professor of economics at Georgia State University and one of the preeminent experts on economic impact in the country. It also revealed additional information about how long visitors stayed and how much money they spent while they were here.

“High-profile events like the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games are more economically beneficial for Atlanta considering they attract more visitors, more media and notably more corporate hospitality spending overall,” Dr. Seaman said. “In our model, we continue to fine tune the way we treat the data to account for variables such as the specific teams involved, the travelling origins of their fan bases, their discretionary spending habits and average length of stay, among many other factors.”

The following chart shows the average amount spent per person (including taxes) by the non-Georgia based fans who stayed in hotels, out of the 151,437 fans who attended the 2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games.

Expenditure per person Average Spend (Florida State vs. Alabama) Average Spend (Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee)
Hotel per day (adjusted for room occupancy) $63.86 $62.67
Food & Beverage per day $76.47 $62.22
Transportation per day $37.05 $35.00
Stadium (excluding ticket) $85.26 $71.75
Shopping total stay $72.68 $65.68
Average length of stay 2.0 nights 1.85 nights

Cumulative Impact by the Numbers: Metro Atlanta

Event Eco. Impact (Cumulative)
Tax Revenue (Cumulative)
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl $598.4 million $30.8 million
Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game $397.5 million $25.6 million
TOTAL $995.9 million $56.4 million

Seaman noted that adjustments were also made to account for displaced spending that would have occurred without the games, for the proportion of visitor spending actually captured by regional vendors and for motivations for visiting the region not directly associated with the games.

The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game averages an attendance of 68,887 – higher than the attendance of 37 bowl games last year – and has an average payout of $5.2 million. Television viewership is also traditionally strong with more than 59.7 million viewers tuning in to the series since its inaugural game in 2008.

For more information, visit CHICK-FIL-AKICKOFFGAME.COM.


About the economic impact study:
Economic Impact is the incremental net change in gross product resulting from the net new spending injected and captured within the metro area, and also incorporates an output spending multiplier of 1.85. A downward adjustment is made for the non-local team payouts made by Peach Bowl, Inc. to the universities and to the College Football Playoff (when applicable), as well as for the expenses (if not paid by local organizers) by the teams to local hotels and vendors during their stay in Atlanta. Tax revenues reported include those from local option sales, state sales taxes collected locally, hotel-motel taxes and transportation taxes (including non-federal airport fees) within the metro area.

In an effort to continually improve the economic impact model used and ensure its accuracy, Peach Bowl, Inc. and Dr. Seaman make regular modifications to the model to incorporate any changes in local tax rates, the location within the metro area of the hotels where visitors stay, and other factors.  i Slight changes were made to the metro output multiplier used to reflect the latest data and the weights applied to different relevant sector multipliers reported by IMPLAN (Impact analysis for Planning, reporting I-RIMS multipliers) that help capture the full indirect and induced effects. Additional downward adjustments in economic impact were made to account for the reality that not all visitors from outside Georgia (or outside Metro Atlanta but within Georgia) who spent money in the city were doing so solely because of the games in contrast to combining or rescheduling an already planned trip to the region. Ongoing adjustments for visitor vs. non-visitor spending and less than 100 percent local capture rates for visitor spending (beyond team payouts) were also applied.

The Economic Impact Model was originally developed in partnership with the Atlanta Sports Council, Atlanta-based McKinsey & Company and Dr. Bruce A. Seaman, Georgia State University economics professor and past president of the Association for Cultural Economics, International. The model provides a defensibly accurate approximation of the direct, indirect and induced economic impacts generated by major sporting events, being sensitive to the many legitimate criticisms that can be made of such studies. Because it incorporates data derived from a carefully administered survey of those attending the games (with sample sizes typically ranging from 600 to 800), the reported impacts are not solely “ex ante” estimates, but incorporate information as obtained from people actually attending the events.


Created in 2008 by Peach Bowl, Inc., the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is the preeminent bowl-style, neutral-site game featuring two elite football programs and has been nationally televised on the first Saturday of the college football season since its inception. The game has hosted teams with national rankings of No. 1 (twice), 2, 3, 5 (twice), 6, 7, 9, 14, 16, 18 (twice), 19, 22, 24 (twice) and 25 (three times). The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game boasts an average attendance of 68,887, has been watched on television by more than 59.7 million viewers, and has distributed $67.46 million in total team payouts. Since its inception in 2008, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game has featured nine national coaches of the year, 19 players who were recipients of national awards during their collegiate careers and a total of 48 first-round NFL Draft picks. For more information, visit WWW.CHICK-FIL-AKICKOFFGAME.COM.