The total economic impact of adapted and para sport-related events nationwide totals approximately $77.8 million annually, nearly reaching pre-COVID levels, according to a benchmark economic impact study released at the Adapted Sport Leadership & Business Symposium presented by All In Sport Consulting on October 19–20.
The study showed that the economic impact of the 34 adaptive sport organizations who completed the sport events section of the survey can be extrapolated at approximately $6,782,592 annually. Organizations represented in the survey account for 12 percent of the total number of adapted sport organizations in the U.S.; therefore, the total economic impact of adapted sport and para events can be extrapolated at approximately $77,751,674 annually.
When compared to the first adapted sport economic impact study conducted in 2020, which reported that the total economic impact of adapted sport events totaled $80,550,000 to $134,250,000 annually in 2019, 2022 data show the industry has nearly recovered to pre-COVID levels.
The survey collected expenditure and budget data from a sampling of U.S.-based adapted sport entities to understand and project the economic power of the national adapted sports industry. The first study was conducted in 2020, reflecting pre-pandemic activity from 2019.
“Prior to 2020, there had never been a formal study conducted to measure the true economic footprint of the adapted sport industry,” said Dawna Callahan, founder and chief executive officer of All In Sport Consulting. “We are excited to build on our initial data with the 2022 report so we can better educate ourselves and others about the industry’s economic power and ultimately accomplish more for our athletes and the movement as a whole. It is time that we move beyond subjective, inspirational or charity-type narratives about the industry with concrete, business-focused data about the short- and long-term benefits our events bring to communities and people everywhere with disabilities.”
The “Adapted Sport: Economic Impact Survey” findings were conducted by All In Sport Consulting in partnership with Stitch Marketing Research and Huddle Up Group. To conduct the study, the organizations emailed surveys to 243 contacts representing 192 organizations with fieldwork conducted between August 24 and October 10. Data from 34 organizations are included in the report, which was sponsored by Richmond Region Tourism and the Tempe Tourism Office.
“We know that with a financially focused resource about the industry’s economic impact, we can more effectively educate adapted sport organizations, potential host cities, venues and other decision makers about what it takes to host adapted sports events and the transformative, community-wide impact they have well after they’ve ended,” said Julie Chavanu of Stitch Marketing Research. “The benefits of hosting events go well beyond a strong economic impact — the infrastructure enables ongoing events, and further, we gain the opportunity to grow awareness for the disabled community and the power of sport for all.”