FARGO-- The Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitor's Bureau is conducting an economic impact study that will see how much revenue different big-time events bring to Fargo's restaurants, hotels and local stores.
On the list are the North Dakota State University football games. The team's crowd numbers have been 1,500 to 2,000 below capacity for their 2018 home playoff games — the lowest stadium attendance this whole season.
Despite the decrease, F-M CVB President Charley Johnson said the impact the Bison football team has had will be apparent in the economic impact statement. The Bison games were measured among 17-20 events analyzed in the report, but the report is in its early stages.
"We included Bison football in there. We did not do a playoff game per se, but we did do Bison football so we should get a pretty good representation. Unfortunately we don't have the stats from that yet, this just happened this fall," Johnson said.
According to Johnson, the sports department at the CVB did a direct spending measurement for visitors during their time in Fargo for sporting events and it came out to $225 per visitor per night, but Johnson maintains that's a safe estimate and it could be more.
"Our sports department put together a study last year of everything we touched and they came up with a direct spending figure of about six and a half million dollars. That's just the $225 per night level, we know that's extremely conservative," Johnson said.
Johnson isn't the only one that believes the decline hasn't been too much of an effect. Herd and Horns General Manager Nick Swanson said not much has changed for his business just three blocks from the Fargodome.
"As far as the amount of people goes, we've got the same crowd, if not more people, which is awesome because even though attendance is down we still have our same crowd," Swanson said.
Swanson says there's little doubt they don't reach or surpass their 250 person capacity in the sports bar. Some numbers from the impact statement could be released as early as spring of 2019.
Some of the other big-time events to be analyzed are concerts, other sporting events and conferences.