The Rangers win the World Series. After 52 years and more than a few heartbreaks and missteps, it’s little wonder Arlington and North Texas are popping the corks and celebrating the victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
But how long will cash registers be ringing because of the World Series win? Will all those promises of an economic boon due to the presence of a Major League Baseball team come to fruition?
Don’t count on it being a home run, said William Crowder, chair of the economics department at the University of Texas at Arlington.
“I always get that question and I hate to disappoint people, but really it’s not much of an impact,” he said.
A lot of studies have been done over the past two decades on major league sports and their economic impact for cities, Crowder said. That impact is not as substantial as many believe.
“The long and short of it is that the estimates come in somewhere around $2 to $3 million per game, so it’s not nothing, but it’s not the $100s of millions that some envision,” he said.
The research indicates much of the economic impact comes from people from one part of town spending money closer to the sports venues, Crowder said.
“So you’re not really bringing in dollars from outside the area, you’re just moving dollars around,” he said.
The good news for Arlington is that studies have shown that championship wins are a little different.
“It turns out that in the case of a championship, there is a sort of a longer lasting economic benefit even after the season is over,” Crowder said. “The authors of that study attribute that to basically civic pride.”
That study showed sales at the local restaurants and other retailers surrounding the sporting venue saw increases of anywhere from 13% to 20% over the course of the next year in their sales.
“That’s a pretty significant result,” said Crowder. “But it’s very difficult — because there’s not really a strong economic mechanism that we can identify — to account for that other than what the authors call civic pride.”
Businesses that stay open late after a World Series or championship win are doing the right thing, Crowder said.
“Getting those sales then is the right idea because that winning euphoria doesn’t last that long, so get those sales while you can,” he said.
That was certainly the case at several local sports retailers in the area who opened after the World Series victory and the Western Division championship.
Kaila Musgrove, a store manager at the sports clothing retailer Rally House at 4922 Overton Ridge Blvd. in Fort Worth, said the business had a full house shortly after the Rangers secured their spot in the World Series with their win over the Houston Astros on Oct. 22.
“We pretty much sold out, we could have used more,” she said. “People wanted to celebrate. It was a good time.”
Southwest talking with DFW Airport
At the Skift Aviation Forum 2023, this year held Nov. 1 at the Omni Fort Worth, Southwest Airlines CEO Robert Jordan said that the Dallas-based airline is looking to establish a “modest presence” at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and is in talks with the airport for gates at the new Terminal F, currently under construction.
The reason for the airline’s interest in additional gates in North Texas dates back to the long and complicated history of the Wright Amendment. Basically, when startup airline Southwest Airlines first began serving passengers out of Love Field in 1971, it only flew a few routes in the state. When airlines were deregulated in the late 1970s, Fort Worth Rep. Jim Wright — to protect DFW Airport — got Southwest to agree to fly only in Texas and states immediately contiguous to the Lone Star State. That agreement, which also limited Southwest’s expansion to other airports in North Texas, ends in 2025.
Ryan Green, executive vice president at Southwest, said much the same thing in a speech to the Rotary Club of Fort Worth in June.
The real estate world called it for the Rangers
Real estate can be a tough bet, but if you’d followed the numbers from JLL, you would have come out well on the World Series. JLL saw a clear advantage for the Texas Rangers over the Arizona Diamondbacks, at least from an office market perspective.
The teams are based in two of the strongest-performing real estate markets in the country. Companies like JP Morgan, Liberty Mutual, Charles Schwab and Goldman Sachs have expanded recently in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, while PayPal, DoorDash and Carvana targeted the Phoenix area. Over the past 10 years, the Dallas-Fort Worth area registered the second-most net absorption of any office market in the U.S., while Phoenix saw the seventh-most despite being the 15th-largest office market, according to JLL research.
While DFW’s out-of-market growth has come from a variety of markets, Phoenix’s growth has come primarily at the expense of companies moving operations out of California. That, notes JLL, parallels the Arizona Diamondbacks topping the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Division Series.
The Rangers have the clear advantage with: population, office-using jobs, job growth since 2019, Fortune 1000 headquarters, office inventory and office absorption. The only area where the Diamondbacks have the advantage is in the cost-of-living index.
The ruling from the JLL umpire is that the Rangers win the World Series with a clear office market advantage. And they did.
Black’s BBQ serves up initial designs
In January, legendary Central Texas barbecue restaurant Black’s BBQ announced plans to open a location on West 7th Street. Now there are some hints about the project, according to plans filed for the project that will be located at 2926 W. 7th St. According to the plans, the $6 million restaurant will be 6,400 square feet with a separate 1,400-square-foot pit house. There will also be an exterior seating area. Gensler is listed as the design firm for the project.
Here’s a look at initial designs for the restaurant.
The exterior of Terry Black’s BBQ planned for West 7th Street in Fort Worth. (Courtesy | Terry Black’s BBQ)
Black’s BBQ traces its origins back five generations to Lockhart in 1932, when the original site opened in a meat market.
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Bob Francis is business editor for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.