Case Study: Holiday Bowl

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San Diego Bowl Games: Holiday Bowl Case Study

As host of the Holiday Bowl each year in December and previously the Poinsettia Bowl, the San Diego Bowl Game Association is a key tourism generator. The Holiday Bowl has been a San Diego institution since 1978 and consistently draws over 50,000 spectators annually, many of them non-locals who travel to San Diego specifically to attend the game, and over 8 million broadcast viewers.

Receiving $450,000 in funding from the San Diego Tourism Marketing District (SDTMD) in FY 2017, the San Diego Bowl Game Association yielded a return on investment (ROI) of 8.1:1 as a result of the Holiday and Poinsettia Bowl competitions. (Moreover, since these games were established, the SDTMD has invested approximately $1.8 million in the San Diego Bowl Game Association, and has seen a return of $12.6 million, a 12:1 total ROI.)

In FY 2017, the games resulted in over 26,000 hotel room nights, generating over $3.6 million in total room night revenue. Other key highlights:

  • The San Diego Bowl Games have generated an average of 33,000 hotel room nights in the month of December for the past six years
  • Since 1978, the games´ economic impact on San Diego has totaled over $750 million
  • Millions of households see San Diego in December as a result of game coverage by ESPN for both the games and the parade. This media exposure showcases San Diego as a destination while much of the country is experiencing winter conditions