Taylor Swift is nearly as big a deal (economically) to your city as hosting the Super Bowl, BofA says



It’s not just a game: Super Bowl Sunday is an economic powerhouse that regularly generates over $1 billion in spending activity for the host city. But a new report shows that Taylor Swift’s economic impact isn’t far behind.

According to the Bank of America Institute, Eras Tour concerts generated an average of $77 in spending at restaurants and $56 at bars for every household during the weekend Swift performed. That’s barely behind the $96 and $74 per household that Super Bowl LVII spurred, respectively—putting Swift right up there alongside the biggest sporting event in the country.

Bank of America Institute analyzed spending data from last year’s Super Bowl matchup in Phoenix and Eras Tour dates in Pittsburgh last June. The report noted that the two events aren’t a perfect comparison—the Super Bowl attracts many more out-of-towners than Eras Tour attendees, who trend more local. But both events undeniably have a huge impact on the economy, not just on pop culture.

The Eras Tour is an economic force—experts estimate it could generate up to $4.6 billion in consumer spending. And BofA Economist Taylor Bowley, who co-authored the report, said a post-pandemic surge in spending on experiences—dubbed “revenge spending”—is a big reason why.

“Consumers have really tried to make up for lost time that occurred during the pandemic by doing some splurging on experiences and entertainment,” Bowley told Fortune. “Local economies are definitely seeing an increase in spending, and seeing this benefit drawn out across these different events.”

Spending data showed that the biggest spending spike during Eras Tour dates was in the dining category—spending at restaurants and bars was 13% higher than average. (Ditto for the Super Bowl, which saw an even bigger spike, at over 25%. Notably, the report showed that Phoenix-area liquor store sales also did big numbers during last year’s Super Bowl weekend.)

The analysis fits into a bigger trend that’s been called “funflation”—consumers diverting more spending towards leisure, which allows leagues and venues to raise ticket prices. Eras Tour tickets cost $240 on average (after seller Live Nation came under heavy scrutiny from the Biden Administration for its hidden fees). And the average ticket for this year’s Super Bowl in Las Vegas is hovering around $11,000. But high prices for big-ticket events mean consistent profits for event organizers, a healthy sign for the overall live events industry.

“According to Bank of America Global Research, there’s definitely the assumption of this ‘funflation’ being a substantial contributor to driving sustainable longer term growth for an experience economy,” said Bowley.

Even as spending on live events slows down after a post-pandemic spree, analysts expect their economic impact to remain strong.

“Consumers are in resilient shape. And there has been some cooling, but consumers are still spending, and they’re still spending on services,” said BofA Senior Economist David Michael Tinsley, who co-wrote the report. “In the official data … we’ve seen a rebound in consumer confidence. So it all kind of adds up to a picture where these impacts of live events in local areas can continue in decent shape this year as well, even if there may be some cooling off.”

And just imagine, now that Taylor Swift is headed to the Super Bowl to see her new boyfriend, Travis Kelce, and his Kansas City Chiefs, play the San Francisco 49ers, what the economic impact will be, in Las Vegas of all places.

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