SAN ANTONIO – The "rodeo class" at Trinity University revealed the results of an economic impact study on Thursday, showing that the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo brings more than $250 million into the Alamo City each year.
The study was conducted over four years and shows a positive impact to the city. Last year, researchers said the 18-day stock show and rodeo had a cumulative impact of $252,816,879.
Students designed two sets of questionnaires: one for patrons and one for exhibitors. Data collection varied by the time of day, and interviewers were stationed in every area of the rodeo grounds.
The cumulative impact of rodeo patrons, exhibitors and volunteers is more than the projected sales tax revenue for the entire city.
Casandra Matej, executive director of the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the rodeo holds a particular appeal for international travelers who are hungry for the Texas experience. Studies show that foreign visitors stay longer, spend more and eventually serve as ambassadors who share their experiences with others, convincing more people to come to San Antonio.
"San Antonio draws more than 32 million visitors a year, many lured to the city by its rich history and culture. Nothing speaks to that more than the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, which embodies the deep Western heritage that serves as the historic foundation for this area," Matej said.
According to the Trinity study, international patrons tend to spend more than twice what local attendees spend.
Rodeo tourists come to San Antonio from Mexico and Canada and as far away as Germany, Italy, Iceland and Australia, according to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo’s International Committee.
The biggest impact came from participants in the livestock shows and competitions, who stay for an extended time at area hotels. According to the survey, they were also highly engaged in social media and sourcing information from websites, which is why the organization released a new phone app this year and newly designed website.
As for patrons, Ticketmaster reports show that 45 percent of rodeo ticket purchases are outside Bexar County. The impact of the event's 6,000 volunteers was measured at more than $14 million. Many take vacation time to work the 18-day event.