It is hard to believe that an epic win for a Chicago sports team is less than six months old, and now the Bears news that is surfacing in mid-March shows that they are working hard to break their 30-year Super Bowl drought.
Of course, the city of Chicago would love for the Bears news to be good for tourism because they are still allegedly recovering from the losses related to a lost bid for hosting the 2016 Olympics.
Naturally, 30 years is nothing compared to the Cubs’ 108-year World Series drought, but the Bears have only had two attempts at the Super Bowl in the past six decades, and only won one of them. However, the city of Chicago needs more tourism money — but will the Bears winning provide this type of taxable revenue?
To improve their strategy for winning, Bears news includes a new idea for 2017 free agent signings. According to Chicago Tribune, Bears General Manager Ryan Pace has been rebuilding the team since assuming office in 2015. Ryan Pace was quoted on March 6 stating the following about the Bears’ strategy for signing free agents.
“I think you can always recover from the player you didn’t sign. You can’t recover from the player whom you signed at the wrong price. We’ve got to be conscious of that.”
For this reason, it was no surprise when the Chicago Bears did not necessarily take top picks for free agents, but picking up Mike Glennon has been seen as a promising sign by some NFL fans — even if it is only for the fact that he is replacing free agent Jay Cutler.
Following the Bears’ free agent news, the next step to create a comeback team will be the NFL draft. Despite this, ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson feels that this is a strong possibility because the Bears have third pick of the draft, and this could make or break their upcoming season.
To say there is a lot of pressure for the Chicago Bears to start delivering good news to their fans about quarterbacks is an understatement, according to FOX Sports — but could Bears fans be a source to improve tourism in the city of Chicago?
If they are successful in 2017 and end up near or in the 2018 Super Bowl, it does seem like the Bears could be helpful to the city of Chicago and their tourism industry — but this perception might be deceiving.
In the recent past, Chicago Business gave updated tourism statistics, and they stated that Chicago could use some help from anyone, including visiting Bears fans, because the city lost a lot of revenue in conferences in 2015 when they did not secure the 2016 Olympics.
They also noted that domestic tourism from visitors was critical to the city, especially in the form of hotel taxes collected by the city of Chicago.
As far as how much money a winning team like the Bears could bring to the city of Chicago in tourism dollars goes, the data from the Cubs winning the World Series seems conflicting.
When the Chicago Cubs won the World Series in late October, CNN Money reported that the Cubs always make money whether or not they are losing, but admitted that they make more when they are winning. Interestingly, the same was said about the Bears in 2014.
For instance, the Cubs were “the most profitable in the league in 2012, earning $32 million, when it finished dead last with 101 losses.”
Although sports teams can easily tabulate how much money they earn, it is often difficult to ascertain the exact dollar amount the team brings in for the city in the form of tourism.
For example, when the Cubs won the World Series, it was stated that it would be difficult to quantify how much money the city made from the increase in tourism in late October and early November. About this, Chicago Tonight quoted Danny Ecker stating that the restaurants and bars around Wrigley Field got a huge economic boost by “being able to charge what they could for people just to get in.”
How much of an economic boost this provided is still up in the air because statistics about an increase in various types of noteworthy revenue are not currently available.
There are also experts that think these statistics will never make the news because the Bears or the Cubs winning or losing does not actually help increase tourism in the way that people expect.
For example, Lake Forest College professor Robert Baade is an expert in sports economics, and his opinion is that most of the sports fans that flocked to see the Cubs win were not tourists bringing money into the city, but instead were locals redistributing wealth to that particular area of the Chicago.
In addition, Robert Baade stated that a huge issue for the city of Chicago is that the sports teams like the Cubs or the Bears are paying their players millions — but that money is not being spent in the area because many of those players do not officially live full-time in Chicago as taxpayers.
It is not yet clear if the Bears winning games in 2017 and 2018 will increase tourism in Chicago, but for anyone that holds to sports superstitions, one related to the Bears might be in the process of being lifted.
Chicago Tribune reported that, although he was fired as head coach of the Bears at the end of 2014, Marc Trestman bought a condo in the Glencoe neighborhood of Chicago in 2015.
Now, this condo owned by Trestman is being listed for sale on the real estate market. This means Trestman has now sold his Winnetka home, and once the condo sells — Chicago will be free.
Chicago sports fans: Do you think the statistics that will be published about 2016 will show an increase in non-local tourism because of the Cubs win and that the Bears can expect the same?
[Feature Image by David Banks/Getty Images]