While there are still five weeks until the playoffs as I write this, I’m hoping the celebration lasts deep into the fall.
With five major sports franchises—ranking second in the nation in number of teams per capita—Missourians clearly value the entertainment and excitement of professional sports.
Psychologists say humans are drawn to sports as a way to express a common culture. To witness this, go to the parking lots outside Arrowhead Stadium on game day and watch as thousands of strangers become friends via their shared passion for the Chiefs, barbeque, and having a cold one.
There’s also a theory that sports are appealing because they serve as metaphors for the competition and challenges we all experience in our lives and careers.
In Missouri, sports are much more than metaphors; they’re also a big business. Approximately 5,000 Missourians currently work in spectator sports or sports promotion, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. In 2012, the state estimated that those jobs would grow by more than 5.5 percent by 2022.
In this issue, we go outside the bounds of traditional sports writing to illuminate the business and economic issues behind our teams.
We interviewed Bill DeWitt III, president of the Cardinals, as his family marks 20 years of team ownership. The DeWitt Cardinals were recently named the most profitable team in baseball. Click here to read more.
This issue also tackles the ongoing discussion about the future of the NFL in St. Louis. Read that story here.
Plus, don’t miss our report on the positive impact of a new Special Olympics training facility being constructed in Mid-Missouri, and the economic value of marathons to Kansas City.
As we note the success of the Cardinals, Royals and the rest of our Missouri sports franchises, let’s also let their victories inspire us to make Missouri a more competitive state for economic expansion. That’s the goal of Missouri 2030, the strategic plan we launched at the beginning of this year.
While there will be no championship trophies for improving our workforce and no one will hold a tickertape parade for stronger Missouri job creation, these efforts are critical to our future.
It’s competitive out there, but we think we have a winning strategy, which you can read at MO2030.com.