A deeper dive into the economic impact of JSU football on the Capital City

Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 10:30 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - We’re just a few days away from Jackson State University’s biggest game of the year - the SWAC Championship.

Visit Jackson is projecting the game to bring in over $6,000,000 for the Capital City.

That’s similar to the numbers we saw for JSU’s homecoming game and when ESPN’s College Gameday rolled into town.

In all, Visit Jackson expects these three games to have an economic impact of over $18,000,000.

But where does this money actually go?

“The first impact is with the business community. Then, when the business community pays taxes, [the city] sees an increase in our taxable revenue because of the increase [the businesses] receive,” Jackson City Councilman and Finance Committee Chair Aaron Banks said.

Banks said the funds ultimately end up going toward things like improving the city’s roads and dealing with dilapidated properties.

When asked where JSU ranks in terms of the city’s biggest economic drivers, the councilman had this to say.

“I think JSU is number one. But let me say this, JSU has been number one with me as far as the city’s number one economic driver for a long time,” Banks said.

If you look at the city of Jackson’s sales tax revenue for the fiscal year 2022, you’ll notice a nearly $3,000,000 increase from the fiscal year before.

A fiscal year starts on July 1st and runs through June 30th, which for 2022, would’ve included the entirety of Coach Prime’s first full season with JSU.

Even this current fiscal year, you’ll see the Capital City’s sales tax revenue is up more than $250,000 from this time last year. That doesn’t even include JSU’s homecoming game or when ESPN College Gameday came to town.

While JSU isn’t solely responsible for these increases, it’s certainly playing a significant role in driving up the city’s sales tax revenue.

As reports surface about Coach Prime getting other job offers, Banks says now is not the time to worry about the sustainability of JSU’s economic impact.

“This is the time to be thankful,” the councilman expressed. “And to say, ‘Lord, thank You for where You allow Jackson to be at this time.’ Let’s worry about the now. Right now, we’ve got to be Southern University.”

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