Athletics plays substantial role in Clemson University's economic impact

Analyst Rob Carey says Clemson generates millions of dollars more in economic output than it receives in annual appropriations

Fans tailgate near Tillman Hall tower before the FSU at Clemson football game at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Fans tailgate near Tillman Hall tower before the FSU at Clemson football game at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C.

Clemson University generated approximately $1.9 billion in economic output for South Carolina last year and its activities accounted for nearly 25,000 jobs, according to a new study.

It showed Clemson’s net impact on state government revenue was $81.8 million more than its state appropriation, and its net return to local governments was $128.2 million.

“In other words, Clemson is a net funder of state and local government, generating millions of dollars more in economic output than it receives in annual appropriations,” said Rob Carey, director of the Regional Economics Analysis Laboratory at the Strom Thurmond Institute at Clemson, who conducted the study.

The 2013 Economic Impact report showed:

• Clemson’s Public Service Activities, which includes the Cooperative Extension Service, accounted for 1,873 jobs statewide, $145.8 million in economic output, $10.5 million in net local government revenue and $14.2 million in net state revenue;

• Athletics – including capital expenditures, operations and spending by visitors to events – generated 3,024 jobs, $204.7 million in total economic output, $101.7 million in disposable income, $16.9 million in net state revenue and $12.4 million in net local revenue; and

• The Clemson Conference Center and Inn, which comprises the Madren Conference and Continuing Education Center, the Walker Golf Course and the Martin Inn, created 284 jobs, $14.17 million in economic output, $6.5 million in disposable income, $846,000 in net local government revenue and $1,146 million in net state government revenue statewide.

“This was a conservative economic impact study,” Carey said. “It is limited to those economic factors that can be attributed directly to university activities.”

He said it does not include the impact of nearly 60,000 Clemson alumni who live in the state; the jobs created by private companies located at innovation campuses in Greenville, Charleston and Anderson.

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