It’s been seven years since the Grizzlies made it past a first-round playoff run. Since Ja Morant’s arrival in 2019, the franchise has had a fresh start culminating this season in which Memphis clinched second place in the Western Conference.
Over the months, and particularly since the start of the playoffs, the city has been able to measure the impact of this renewed attraction in terms of tourism. And in this series against Stephen Curry’s Warriors, the numbers have skyrocketed.
“Many of these tickets are bought by people from the region and from all over the country”pointed out for example Kevin Kane, president of “Memphis Tourism”. “People come, stay at our hotels and enjoy what Memphis has to offer. If we go further and further into the playoffs, it will represent millions of dollars for our economy.
Unfortunately, the adventure ended last night, but the economic results are still remarkable.
More business generated in all tourism sectors
According to figures from the Downtown Memphis Commission, there are about 19,000 people on Beale Street, the city’s main thoroughfare, on a typical Sunday.
For Game 1 of the conference semifinal against the Warriors, this number almost doubled, rising to 39,000! This influx is also being felt at downtown hotels which are currently all full and posting 25% more stays since the start of the playoffs.
“Over the last few weekends we have seen a significant number of people visiting Beale Street”recognized Paul Young, CEO and president of the “DMC”. “Everyone knows how difficult the last two years have been with COVID and all the restrictions. These playoff series have been great for our business and for our community.”
The emulation around these Grizzlies therefore goes beyond the framework of the city of Memphis, considered the smallest market in the NBA with just over 600,000 inhabitants. The hope of local players now is that the enthusiasm lasts for several years to revitalize the city and its economy.
“Inspire investors to do more for our city and find other ways to invest here. This also has an impact on local families because these are additional jobs that will be created in the long term”Paul Young added.
Ideally, it would also host the All-Star Game since the city has never hosted it!