Performing Arts and Spectator Sports Is a Small but Important Industry in Lane County

by Brian Rooney

July 6, 2017

The arts and spectator sports industry is important to Lane County not only for enhancing communities through entertainment and providing jobs and payroll; it also boosts tourism and spending at local firms such as hotels and restaurants. In Lane County the industry is largely made up of performing arts firms such as the Eugene Symphony and small theaters, but it also includes the Emeralds, Eugene’s minor league baseball team.
The performing arts and spectator sports industry has generally been growing. After rapid growth from 2001 through 2007, the industry, like most, experienced losses during the Great Recession. Since bottoming out in 2010, the industry has grown, surpassing its prerecession peak to reach an employment level of 486 in 2016. It included 54 firms in 2016 with combined payroll of roughly $9 million.

In addition to direct employment and payroll, performing arts and sports impacts the local economy by promoting tourism and attracting people to local businesses like restaurants and hotels. As an example, Americans for the Arts published an economic impact analysis of the nonprofit arts and cultural industry in the city of Eugene using an input-output model. It estimated that there was $62.2 million in total industry expenditures on the arts that supported 2,401 jobs and provided $45.7 million in household income to the area in fiscal year 2015.

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