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Mayor, Sports Commission: Kansas City cashes in on NFL Draft, bringing in $164M

$108 million was direct spending
Posted: 5:02 PM, Aug 25, 2023
Updated: 2023-08-25 18:35:01-04
Dia and Quinton.jpg
2023 NFL Draft

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The numbers are in and we now know the economic impact of the biggest event Kansas City has ever hosted — the NFL Draft.

Heading into the event, original projections were $100 million, but KCMO actually brought in $164 million — $108 million in direct spending, according Kansas City Sports Commission & Foundation.

Fifty-five million of the money was from induced/indirect impact, according to the commission.

For those wanting to compare Kansas City to other cities since the NFL Draft started going to different sites, KCMO came in third only behind Nashville and Las Vegas.

Below are the numbers. No data was available for 2020 because the draft was virtual due to COVID-19.

    Breaking down the numbers

    According to the commission, 60% of the direct spending went to accommodations like hotels.

    Another 18% went to food and drinks, while business services account for 8 percent; transportation six percent and retail and recreation 4 percent.

    Direct spending in Kansas City
    Direct spending in Kansas City from 2023 NFL Draft.

    Viewership and reach

    According to the commission, television and streaming platforms recorded 54.4 million viewers for the three-day event.

    Kansas City averaged an 11.1 household rating, the highest since different cities began hosting the draft in 2015, the commission said.

    The NFL Draft in Kansas City also did well on social media.

    KCMO's NFL Draft was the most engaging and viewed on the NFL's social media platforms in the history of the draft.

    The event garnered 875 million impressions, 39 million engagements and 230 million video views.

    During the three days the draft was ongoing, "Kansas City" was mentioned 34,470 times in relation to the NFL Draft through print, online, television and radio outlets.

    Those numbers translated to an audience of over $43 million and a publicity value of $666,924,430.

    Community impact

    According to the commission, during the three-day event, more than 1,200 Kansas Citians worked over 2,500 shifts.

    Minority and women-owned businesses accounted for half of the vendors at the NFL Draft.

    The commission said that collectively, those businesses generated $1.12 million in food and nonalcoholic beverage sales.

    How leaders are reacting

    Kathy Nelson.jpg
    Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation CEO Kathy Nelson

    After the numbers were released, KSHB 41's Dia Wall revisited with Kathy Nelson, president and CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission & Foundation and KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas

    Nelson reflected on the success of the event, saying it's more than she could have imagined.

    “So thrilled, honored — just goosebumps thinking about those three days," she said. “Yea. When you think about those people and for us it was never, we expect 300,000 visitors. We expected 300,000 attendees. So to know and appreciate that a quarter of a million people plus spent money right here in the heart of downtown, I think that is what’s such a positive takeaway from this.”

    Nelson said the economic impact is beyond just money that was spent in the city, but what the success means for the future of KCMO.

    “It’s not just equating that back to the dollars that are spent in that economic lift," she said. "It’s what impacts our business the next 10 years coming from this and that’s hard to put a number to sometimes.”

    Quinton Lucas.jpg
    Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas

    Lucas said the NFL Draft showed just how capable KCMO is of hosting significant and large events.

    “This was, I think, an exceptional example. So many of our hotels were full. Our restaurants were full, particularly close to the NFL Draft area," Lucas said. "For me, this meant that we were really delivering on promises that we’ve been making for years."

    The mayor said the success is just another tool he'll be able to use when "selling" Kansas City to entities.

    “There were more than 54 million people who watched on television. More than 875 million social media impressions. What kind of impact does that make moving forward for attracting other events and things to the city?” Lucas said. “I’ll just start with this and Kathy really knows how it’s done. When I’m sharing Kansas City, when I’m selling Kansas City, us having those types of images that are beamed around the world are nothing short of amazing and make my job so much easier. That means a lot for us in some ways that are almost immeasurable.”