$5bn: Overall economic impact
In May 2023, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia noted in its Beige Book that Swift’s Eras Tour stop was a boon for the city’s tourism industry. The effect spread: the tour’s opening night in Glendale, Arizona brought in more revenue for local businesses than the Super Bowl, held at the same venue earlier this year. Combined, there’s a lot of money moving across the country: a June estimate from market-research firm QuestionPro estimated the economic impact of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour at $5bn for the US economy.
After two nights of concerts at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, the region’s travel and tourism board Visit Cincinnati reported that Swift brought $90m to the greater Cincinnati area. Those concerts, held on 30 June and 1 July, each had about 60,000 attendees, many of whom travelled into the area for the shows. The hotels in downtown Cincinnati had a record-breaking 98% occupancy, and Visit Cincinnati noted the hotel revenue was double year-over-year; the visitor’s bureau estimated that Swift is responsible for $7.9m added hotel revenue for those two concert days.
“A Taylor Swift concert is a vacation level of spending,” says Egan. “It’s about a good experience, not a good deal, and you’re more comfortable spending a fair amount of money on it.”
Egan says framing attending a show like taking a holiday can help explain how Swift affects local economies: as fans spend more money in specific geographic regions, that money goes to businesses located there, employed by people who live there. When local residents make more money, they have more spending power, too. That cycles back into other local businesses.
On 14 and 15 July, Swift played two shows in Denver, Colorado at Empower Field at Mile High, to a combined 140,000 people – who overall contributed $140m to the state’s GDP. What’s impactful about this increase, says Egan, is that “Swift’s GDP stimulation keeps a lot of the money flowing around in the local economy instead of it going somewhere else”. Egan explains this is the opposite of what typically happens: most GDP spikes happen because of exports. Instead, with Swift, the money exchanges from person to person domestically, and is more likely to be recirculated within the country.