Tuesday, November 16, 2004
University Athletics Have Great Economic Impact
SALISBURY, MD---When the Salisbury University Sea Gulls take on their opponents this Saturday in the first round of NCAA Division III football and third round of men’s soccer playoffs, only one team will take the victory in each contest. However, the real winner of both will be Wicomico County. Athletic playoffs mean big business both on and off the field. Before and after the game, coaches, players and parents from the visiting team need places to stay, eat and buy fuel and other items. According to a study published last year by Dr. Michael Vienna, SU’s athletic director, in Athletic Management magazine, those expenses add up over the course of an academic year to the tune of more than $1.1 million per team. “If you look at other areas from referees to NCAA officials, you could easily push that to over $2 million,” Vienna said, adding the survey included neither these officials nor fans not affiliated with the visiting or home teams. Salisbury and Wicomico County will see an extended share of that revenue this fall not only as the location for this weekend’s football playoff, but as a host site for the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer championship sectional competition. Last weekend alone, referees for SU’s field hockey playoff filled 15 hotel rooms for three days. SU also draws sports camps and recruiters to its campus, adding even more to the local economy. Game time for football is noon Saturday at Sea Gull Stadium. Tickets are $8 for adults, $4 for students from the competing schools with a valid ID, $4 for children ages 5-12, and free for children 4 and under. Tickets will be available for advance purchase on campus through Friday at 1 pm at the Information Desk located in the Guerrieri University Center. Men’s soccer takes on Johns Hopkins University 11 a.m. Saturday, followed by a contest between Stevens Tech and Richard Stockton University 30 minutes after the first game ends. The regional final is 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $6 for general admission; $3 for students from the competing schools with a valid ID and for children ages 5-12; and free for children four and under. One ticket is valid for both games on the first day. A new ticket is needed for Sunday's final. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.