Stunning numbers. Of course, many on here won't care because they can easily drive to Durham to watch us play Duke in a high school-quality stadium.
Reread that piece. Moving all the home games out of the Brazos Valley only subtracts $120 million from the B/CS economy -- far less than the overall growth since 2011. Indeed, if you divide the $540 million increase they cite by the 98,000 overall increase in athletic attendance, you get some interesting figures. Either each new athletic spectator spent an average of $5510 in B/CS during their visit or that "much of the increase" that they attribute to athletics is really due to something else. Do you really think every spectator spends an average of $2700 during a visit? That's what's necessary for even 50% of the increase to be attributed to athletics. Even if you divide by the multiplier they used, it still indicates an average expenditure of $1000 per spectator if those 98K new spectators generate just half the new revenue.
There's much more to TAMU's local economic impact than athletics. The Bush Library is a tourist attraction in its own right. TAMU's impact is not limited to the university itself; there's the TAMUS headquarters, TAEx, TEEX, TAES, and TTI as well. TAMU/TAMUS salaries alone (per the article) account for about 50% of the $1.72 billion impact before the multiplier is used.
Sure, college athletics is important to the local economy. But it's not even the major element of the TAMU's impact. And The athletic facilities at A&M are much larger than their VT counterparts: Reed is about 40% larger than Cassell and Kyle is about 26% larger than Lane. Olsen Field alone is half the size of Cassell -- and seats over five times English Field's 1000.