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Spectator sports employment

January 31, 2014

Americans love spectator sports. This is never more apparent than during the week of a championship game such as the Super Bowl. Nationwide during 2012, employment in the spectator sports industry averaged slightly less than 130,000. The spectator sports industry includes all businesses primarily engaged in presenting live sporting events before a paying audience, including baseball, basketball, and football games (both minor and major leagues), as well as horse racing and other sporting events.

Employment in spectator sports, by metropolitan area, 2012
Metropolitan areaEmployment

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL

7,508

New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA

7,467

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA

6,890

Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC

4,451

Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI

3,911

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

3,477

San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA

3,286

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

2,923

Indianapolis-Carmel, IN

2,877

Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX

2,616

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

2,459

Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI

2,044

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

1,967

Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH

1,667

Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO

1,583

Lexington-Fayette, KY

1,544

Pittsburgh, PA

1,520

Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN

1,517

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA

1,498

San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA

1,445

St. Louis, MO-IL

1,394

Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN

1,339

Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI

1,295

Jacksonville, FL

1,118

Memphis, TN-MS-AR

1,096

Oklahoma City, OK

1,031

Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL

1,006

Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA

948

New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA

881

Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA

824

Columbus, OH

781

Salt Lake City, UT

743

Rochester, NY

689

San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

666

Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL

662

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

583

Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX

583

Hot Springs, AR

579

Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY

482

Binghamton, NY

477

Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA

457

Richmond, VA

457

Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN

449

Fresno, CA

439

Las Vegas-Paradise, NV

413

Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL

332

Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL

324

Ocala, FL

308

Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA

294

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI

286

Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA

279

Evansville, IN-KY

252

Spokane, WA

247

Tucson, AZ

234

Dayton, OH

217

Winston-Salem, NC

216

Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, SC

214

Bakersfield-Delano, CA

205

Tulsa, OK

205

Anchorage, AK

202

Albuquerque, NM

200

Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA

191

Reading, PA

186

Mobile, AL

175

Cedar Rapids, IA

175

Birmingham-Hoover, AL

164

Reno-Sparks, NV

154

Colorado Springs, CO

153

Lancaster, PA

140

Erie, PA

139

Midland, TX

138

Charleston, WV

129

Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA

122

Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway, SC

119

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC

113

Lincoln, NE

111

Dover, DE

109

Visalia-Porterville, CA

108

Bloomington-Normal, IL

103

Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NY

102

York-Hanover, PA

95

Altoona, PA

92

Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA

85

Greeley, CO

79

Trenton-Ewing, NJ

79

Roanoke, VA

79

South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI

78

Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC

75

Wheeling, WV-OH

74

Great Falls, MT

71

El Paso, TX

70

Baton Rouge, LA

63

Provo-Orem, UT

59

Yakima, WA

55

Salinas, CA

53

Janesville, WI

53

Modesto, CA

52

Grand Junction, CO

51

Gulfport-Biloxi, MS

51

Boulder, CO

48

Burlington, NC

48

Stockton, CA

47

State College, PA

46

Coeur d'Alene, ID

40

Las Cruces, NM

40

Ogden-Clearfield, UT

38

Vallejo-Fairfield, CA

33

Dubuque, IA

32

Yuba City, CA

30

St. Cloud, MN

30

Medford, OR

30

Glens Falls, NY

29

Spartanburg, SC

29

Rochester, MN

27

Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ

26

Chico, CA

22

Wilmington, NC

22

Canton-Massillon, OH

22

Idaho Falls, ID

19

Springfield, IL

19

College Station-Bryan, TX

19

Bremerton-Silverdale, WA

19

Wenatchee-East Wenatchee, WA

19

Naples-Marco Island, FL

18

St. Joseph, MO-KS

18

Fairbanks, AK

16

Abilene, TX

16

McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX

16

Bellingham, WA

16

Lebanon, PA

15

Pocatello, ID

13

Madera-Chowchilla, CA

12

Charlottesville, VA

12

Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach, FL

9

Kingston, NY

9

St. George, UT

6

Lubbock, TX

5

Monroe, LA

3

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Florida, and New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania (site of the 2014 Super Bowl), were the metropolitan areas with the highest spectator sports employment; each had approximately 7,500 workers in the industry. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, California, had slightly fewer than 7,000.

Employment in spectator sports in the two metropolitan areas that are home to the teams playing in the Super Bowl—Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington, and Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, Colorado—was roughly 2,500 and 1,500, respectively. About 30 of the nation's metropolitan areas had more than 1,000 people employed in spectator sports. (Note that these data are annual average employment for 2012. Data for some areas may be unavailable because they do not meet disclosure standards.)

Over the past decade, total spectator sports employment has averaged between roughly 125,000 and 135,000. Employment in spectator sports has been quite seasonal, varying by approximately 50,000 between minimums occurring each winter in January and February and maximums each summer in June, July, and August. 

 

Employment in spectator sports, January 2001–June 2013
MonthEmployment

Jan 2001

105,412

Feb 2001

108,333

Mar 2001

114,747

Apr 2001

144,512

May 2001

152,907

Jun 2001

157,805

Jul 2001

154,850

Aug 2001

157,234

Sep 2001

138,673

Oct 2001

127,623

Nov 2001

116,438

Dec 2001

111,411

Jan 2002

102,632

Feb 2002

104,449

Mar 2002

110,356

Apr 2002

143,128

May 2002

150,032

Jun 2002

155,023

Jul 2002

154,530

Aug 2002

157,186

Sep 2002

142,607

Oct 2002

125,061

Nov 2002

115,173

Dec 2002

110,276

Jan 2003

102,438

Feb 2003

104,459

Mar 2003

113,824

Apr 2003

140,337

May 2003

148,383

Jun 2003

153,038

Jul 2003

154,620

Aug 2003

158,660

Sep 2003

143,030

Oct 2003

124,063

Nov 2003

114,275

Dec 2003

115,318

Jan 2004

98,003

Feb 2004

100,222

Mar 2004

107,913

Apr 2004

139,006

May 2004

148,428

Jun 2004

152,305

Jul 2004

151,922

Aug 2004

154,018

Sep 2004

144,667

Oct 2004

118,676

Nov 2004

109,575

Dec 2004

107,608

Jan 2005

99,391

Feb 2005

99,282

Mar 2005

106,419

Apr 2005

136,135

May 2005

146,291

Jun 2005

151,504

Jul 2005

152,142

Aug 2005

154,039

Sep 2005

144,417

Oct 2005

118,865

Nov 2005

111,197

Dec 2005

108,179

Jan 2006

102,839

Feb 2006

102,597

Mar 2006

110,728

Apr 2006

140,235

May 2006

149,932

Jun 2006

154,569

Jul 2006

152,980

Aug 2006

155,598

Sep 2006

144,349

Oct 2006

125,045

Nov 2006

115,454

Dec 2006

112,044

Jan 2007

106,900

Feb 2007

107,544

Mar 2007

116,568

Apr 2007

143,963

May 2007

156,085

Jun 2007

160,751

Jul 2007

159,043

Aug 2007

162,938

Sep 2007

150,993

Oct 2007

125,434

Nov 2007

120,183

Dec 2007

114,593

Jan 2008

107,059

Feb 2008

108,688

Mar 2008

115,856

Apr 2008

148,647

May 2008

159,446

Jun 2008

160,109

Jul 2008

160,860

Aug 2008

162,980

Sep 2008

150,360

Oct 2008

124,951

Nov 2008

115,049

Dec 2008

112,374

Jan 2009

103,740

Feb 2009

104,508

Mar 2009

112,101

Apr 2009

140,727

May 2009

153,625

Jun 2009

154,022

Jul 2009

154,542

Aug 2009

158,202

Sep 2009

147,624

Oct 2009

123,267

Nov 2009

111,950

Dec 2009

107,957

Jan 2010

100,425

Feb 2010

99,832

Mar 2010

110,126

Apr 2010

140,903

May 2010

149,713

Jun 2010

152,974

Jul 2010

150,771

Aug 2010

154,903

Sep 2010

145,224

Oct 2010

119,905

Nov 2010

111,573

Dec 2010

105,837

Jan 2011

100,687

Feb 2011

99,494

Mar 2011

108,840

Apr 2011

138,414

May 2011

141,759

Jun 2011

144,552

Jul 2011

147,576

Aug 2011

150,365

Sep 2011

141,067

Oct 2011

113,070

Nov 2011

107,846

Dec 2011

105,376

Jan 2012

100,944

Feb 2012

102,125

Mar 2012

111,288

Apr 2012

141,390

May 2012

151,509

Jun 2012

152,524

Jul 2012

153,039

Aug 2012

156,024

Sep 2012

142,228

Oct 2012

122,582

Nov 2012

113,923

Dec 2012

110,597

Jan 2013(p)

102,358

Feb 2013(p)

104,489

Mar 2013(p)

117,057

Apr 2013(p)

144,707

May 2013(p)

152,963

Jun 2013(p)

155,895

Footnotes:
(p) Data for 2013 are preliminary.
 

Spectator sports employment reached recent peaks of slightly over 160,000 during the summers of 2007 and 2008. During the last decade, employment has dipped below 100,000 (but remained above 98,000) only during the winters of 2004, 2005, 2010, and 2011.

These data are from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program, which publishes quarterly counts of employment and wages at the county, metropolitan area, state and national levels by industry. These employment data are based only on privately owned establishments whose primary activity is the spectator sports industry; state or local government establishments are not included.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Spectator sports employment on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140131.htm (visited November 26, 2014).

OF INTEREST

Three recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

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