2016 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials Surpasses $74 Million in Economic Impact

OMAHA, NE – The final numbers have been calculated, and the total economic impact of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials event in Omaha is more than $74 million. In addition, Omaha gained international exposure during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“The sold-out event was not only a win for the U.S. Olympic athletes competing in Rio, but also a huge economic win for the City of Omaha and its residents,” said Harold Cliff, President/Executive Director of the Omaha Sports Commission.

USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus said, “The U.S. Olympic Trials is a showcase for the best swimmers in the sport, and it’s also a community gathering. With nearly 90% of the ticket sales coming from outside Omaha, that means families stayed in hotels, ate in restaurants, and supported local businesses, which makes us equally proud.”

Based on the Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (OCVB) economic impact calculator, the total economic impact of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials totals $74,545,759. Visitors spent $38,109,672 during the 8-day Swim Trials event. That additional visitor spending multiplied as it trickled through the local economy, adding another $36,436,086 in indirect spending.

A breakdown of the numbers:
        • Direct Spending - $38,109,672
        • Indirect Spending - $36,436,086
        • Local Taxes generated - $4,780,824

“Sports tourism is an important component of our local economy,” said Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert. “Our city’s ability to attract a growing number of sporting events means more visitors spending money in Omaha, and more revenue for our local businesses.”

“The Trials put CenturyLink Center Omaha in the national spotlight. This exposure helps us draw more big events and more visitors to our community, which in turn creates a greater economic boost,” said Roger Dixon, MECA President and CEO.

Keith Backsen, OCVB Executive Director added, “In addition to the tens of millions spent in Omaha during the Swim Trials, Omaha continues to reap the rewards of this event. During the Olympic television coverage of the swimming events in Rio, Omaha was mentioned repeatedly to an estimated audience of 16.2 million viewers.”

According to TVEyes, the OCVB’s media monitoring service, it’s worth $120,000 in publicity value every time Omaha was mentioned during the national Olympic coverage.