Overhyped Economic Impact of Playoff Games

During the Steelers January playoff run to the Super Bowl there was a spate of news stories telling us about the wonderful upsurge in economic activity resulting from the team’s involvement in the playoffs. However, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue retail sales tax collections in Allegheny County for the month of January 2006 were down nearly three percent from January 2005. That means taxable sales in the County were also down by the same percentage. Meanwhile, retail sales nationally rose an astounding 9.3 percent from January 2005 to January 2006, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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