I preface this by saying I'm not an economist. I'm just a sports fan. I cheer the home team and live and die with every second of an important game. I'm having trouble though figuring out why everyone including Michigan State coach Tom Izzo is saying this Final Four run is a dream come true for a troubled state in difficult times.
This team being here in Detroit for the Final Four is called a silver lining of a dark cloud hanging over Michigan. WHY?
I understand the emotional piece of it and I get that. However, when everyone is referencing the economic state of...well, the state, what do they think they get out of this by the Spartans playing a part? Fans who already live in Detroit will not fill up restaurants or hotels much more than they would have with MSU out of the Final Four.
This is a time for visitors to travel into town and spend their money supporting their team. Louisville would have brought travelers into the city, filled the airport with additional business. Cab drivers and rental companies would have more business then they will with a home team included in the mix.
Hotels miss out on a fourth opportunity to serve out of town guest. Local attractions won't see the locals this week. Only three teams and their fans will venture out to places Detroit and Michigan natives have already seen. Potential tax income is wasted.
Meanwhile, lifelong fans who have followed the Spartans their whole life may pool all their money to make it to the games. It is their right to and it makes a good story. I've heard that story this week.
What about next week? When the car breaks down and the money they had is gone from game expenses and they have to max out credit cards for years to keep up, is it still a great thing for Michigan? A bit dramatic for sure, but the premise behind it is solid and it will happen this week.
This will be a money maker for Michigan and it could not come at a better time. Just don't throw the economic rhetoric in with the story on how Michigan benefits with Michigan State playing in the Final Four.
You can find more works from Dave at Sportschatplace.com