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When it Comes to Spectator Sports, Utahns Prefer College Football

University of Utah Football

September 4, 2014 — With the Winter Olympics in February and the World Cup in June and July, 2014 has been a good year for sports. A recent survey by Dan Jones & Associates in conjunction with the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business found that Utahns value local spectator sports, with college football as the most popular. Utah’s economy and life quality stand to benefit, with 72 percent of those surveyed planning to attend a game in the next six months.

The Utah Jazz follows behind college football as the second most popular sport attended. College basketball comes in third most popular, followed by minor league baseball and Real Salt Lake soccer. Although the Utah Jazz came in second, the survey shows that Utahns are willing to pay more for Utah Jazz games than other sports. Seventy percent of those surveyed plan to spend over $50 at a Jazz game, which includes not only ticket prices, but also food, transportation and souvenirs.

“When these sporting events attract out-of-state money from visitors, TV contracts, or other sources, it grows the Utah economy,” said Natalie Gochnour, an associate dean in the David Eccles School of Business. “But even more important than the economic impact is the quality of life amenities spectator sports provide.”

When asked about the availability of sporting events in Utah, over 70 percent of respondents indicated that they see the events as accessible. However, 16 percent of respondents said they were planning to attend a game outside of the state in the next six months, with the National Football League and Major League Baseball being the most likely hosts.

“The survey indicates that though Utahns are happy with the sporting events they are able to attend, they may be willing to support more sports in the state,” said Dan Jones of Dan Jones & Associates. “Not only do the majority of Utahns attend events in state, but the fact that a large number are willing to spend money traveling out of state to attend events not available in Utah shows Utahns’ appetite for professional sports leagues.”