Tracking the impact of sports events helps nearby businesses plan

Myles Parker
Demand Intelligence Specialist

On Labor Day weekend 2020, college football games in Charlotte brought in $26.2 million for the hospitality sector

And that's just college football. With restrictions and capacity limits of sports events behind us, the full effect of some of sports’ most exciting competitions and rivalries in recent memory can now be felt throughout the world. Industries like supermarkets, hospitality and transportation are all a part of the recovery taking place and all have an opportunity to access the rejuvenated fan bases.

Sports have a huge impact on the surrounding area where the event is taking place. Being aware of not just the big games, but every game, can make the difference of filling every room in your hotel or thousands of dollars of extra food and beverage sales for tailgates.

For example, having insight into when the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers are playing might be easy to identify, but how do you track the hundreds of other collegiate and professional games happening in that area that may have a big impact? While more difficult to track, they are equally important to understand.

Who can benefit from tracking sports events and their impact?

PredictHQ tracks more than fifteen types of sports, including collegiate and professional soccer, hockey, basketball, baseball, football and more. While both a soccer game and football game can impact the surrounding area, understanding what impact each game has depends on what business you are in and how the fans interact with your store.

Several types of industries can be impacted by sports events. For example: 


Understanding not just predicted attendance of games, but the expected airline traffic to each game (by using PredictHQ Aviation Rank) allows hoteliers to be the first to make inventory and pricing decisions to match the influx of fans.

  • New Orleans hotels saw a single-game impact of $5.1 million when the New Orleans Saints played the Carolina Panthers in 2015. 

  • The NFL alone generates an average impact of $75 million on hoteliers’ revenue over the past eight seasons.

Quick Service Restaurants

Staying ahead of the demand of upcoming games can allow you to efficiently staff and stock locations to minimize wait times and complete more orders before or after gametime. Using games as a promotional tool can also help activate fans heading to the game or those who want to order food to watch at home.

  • Fast food restaurants in home team markets are seeing 8x more mobile coupon activations to take advantage of game day deals.

  • For NFL fans surveyed about either watching or attending a game, 76% said ordering food was part of their plans, with 31% ordering in most games and 17% ordering in every game.

Grocery Stores

By anticipating the attendance and expected impact of a nearby sports event months ahead of time, you can improve purchasing for commonly sold food and beverage for tailgating, helping avoid stock-outs entirely. Think red solo cups, beer, hamburgers and more! 

  • Grocers near the University of Nebraska football stadium mentioned games being a significant impact for the whole area - citing the stadium’s capacity of 93,000 plus the additional 35,000 people who tailgate and never go to the game. 

  • Grocers near Penn State’s stadium mentioned that a home game weekend in their hometown of 50,000 people may host up to 200,000 visitors


What aspects of tracking sports events are impactful?

There are a number of different elements of a sports event, separate from just the date, that make all the difference when it comes down to planning. By understanding more insights around when people will be leaving the game and how many people will be flying in with a potential need for accommodation, hotels and retail alike can make far more proactive decisions. Here’s a few different ways that PredictHQ enriches sports data:

  • Predicted Attendance: Relying on a venue's maximum capacity to forecast is misleading. Most event data sources estimate attendance based on venue capacity, which is often inaccurate and leads to over forecasting. You need a specific and verified estimate for each event to know how many additional potential customers this event will attract. Utilize accurate predicted attendance for sports events to influence everything from staffing choices to what stock you have on hand. 

  • Start Time & Predicted End Times: Knowing an event's start and end time enables smarter scheduling. PredictHQ verifies or predicts these details for every event. Some event data sources provide start times but end times are rarely included.Effectively plan labor around the start and predicted end times of the game.

  • Venue Data: Behind each event within our system, we have a set of entities that we call a knowledge graph. The entities ensure that the event has the full picture, as opposed to just a date and start time.

Additionally, televised sports events can impact your business

The impact of sports events doesn’t just stop at fans attending the game! The camaraderie and passion of sports fans brings people together to celebrate in a number of ways at home. Whether it’s getting together with family to order catered food and beer, or going down to the local sports bar to see if they have the game on TV.

PredictHQ is the only verified source of predicted viewership for televised sports games. We predicted the super bowl viewership in 2022 to be 117 million people. The game attracted a record number of viewers and PredictHQ scored 96% on accuracy.

Whether you care about how the foot traffic of sports events impacts your business, or how live TV sports events impact your sales, we encourage you to reach out. You can find out more and sign up to learn more about sports events and other event categories that may be impacting your business here.