Credit: Associated Press
The shut-down of most fall sports at San Diego State University amid the pandemic will cost the school millions but the impact on the region’s economy will be minimal, according to a local economist.
Earlier this week, the Mountain West Conference, which includes SDSU, joined the Big Ten and the Pac-12 in canceling their football, soccer, volleyball and cross-country seasons, among others.
For SDSU, the decision could mean up to $12 million in revenue losses. Athletic director John David Wicker hopes the university’s big donors will help mitigate the losses.
“We’ll be working with our community, our San Diego State community and the greater community on how they can help us weather this storm and still be in great shape moving out of it,” Wicker said at a Monday press conference.
While the lack of fall football will almost certainly have a big impact on the economies of small college towns, it won’t put a dent in an economy the size of San Diego’s, said Alan Gin, an economic professor at the University of San Diego. Plus, Mountain West teams bring few fans with them when they travel.
“Usually when you look at things like sporting events, any economic impact would involve money being brought in by visiting teams,” Gin said. “To me, it’s not a conference where a lot of fans travel with their teams, so I think there would be limited impact in terms of outside visitors.”
Student-athletes would still be able to live and train on campus and keep their athletic scholarships, Wicker said. And there is hope that the teams will be able to play in the spring. But athletes are still devastated by the decision.
Chloe Frisch, a fourth-year student-athlete at SDSU, said she would extend her college career to play a proper final season.
“I’ve dedicated my entire life to soccer,” she said. “If I had that opportunity to come back for a fifth year then I would do that, probably. I think a lot of my senior teammates would feel the same way.”
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