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Fort Worth leaders await economic impact of MLB Draft event in Stockyards

The Cowtown Coliseum is located at 121 E. Exchange Ave. in the Fort Worth Stockyards pictured on June 11, 2024.
Alberto Silva Fernandez
Fort Worth Report
The Cowtown Coliseum is located at 121 E. Exchange Ave. in the Fort Worth Stockyards pictured on June 11, 2024.

Fort Worth leaders are hoping for a home run as baseball fans rally in Tarrant County.

Tens of thousands of visitors are expected at the Fort Worth Stockyards on July 14 for the opening night of the 2024 Major League Baseball Draft, part of All-Star Week events in North Texas that start July 12. The main event, the 94th Midsummer Classic, will be played at Globe LiIfe Field in Arlington on July 16 — the second All-Star Game that the Texas Rangers have hosted in the franchise’s 63-year history.

The city of Fort Worth couldn’t be more excited to host the draft in the Cowtown Coliseum, said Becca Berger, senior sports marketing manager for the Fort Worth Sports Commission, a division of Visit Fort Worth that promotes the city for sporting events that have an economic impact on the city.

“This opportunity was made possible by the great partnership we have with the city of Arlington and the World Series Champion Texas Rangers who have led the charge on securing the MLB All-Star Week for Tarrant County,” she said.

The impact of the Mid-Summer Classic will be significant for Fort Worth, Berger said. About 2,000 dedicated fans are expected to be in the coliseum for the draft.

“More than 8,000 hotel rooms have been secured at Fort Worth hotels with MLB executives, sponsors, fans and representatives from all the franchises,” Berger said. “We anticipate more than 30,000 fans in the Stockyards for the draft and the activities we have planned in the district throughout the day.”

Coverage of the MLB events, Berger said, will also bring added media attention to the city, providing “yet another opportunity for us to share the Fort Worth story with sports fans across the country.”

The draft follows in the footsteps of other sporting events that made history at the coliseum.

“As home to the first indoor rodeo in America in 1918 and having hosted entertainment icons, including Elvis Presley, to think that some 125 years later, the coliseum would be home to the 2024 MLB Draft is amazing,” Craig Cavileer, managing partner of Stockyards Heritage Development Co., said.

To see a schedule of Major League Baseball events in North Texas, visit here.

Some studies on the economic impact of sports provide a realistic take on revenue.

A 2021 study by the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, showed the 2014 All-Star Game in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the 2019 All-Star Game in Cleveland, Ohio, generated “at most 10,000 additional room nights and $4.5 million in additional hotel revenues.”

“These figures suggest that the All-Star Game generates a total direct marginal increase in tourism spending of only $3.9 to $9.4 million,” according to the study, which examined the MLB economic impact after the 2021 All-Star Game was moved from Atlanta, Georgia, to Denver, Colorado, in response to a Georgia voting law.

Georgia had claimed that the state lost $100 million because of the removal of the game, an assertion the study said was “pure fiction with no basis in economic data.”

William Crowder, chair of the economics department at the University of Texas at Arlington, previously told the Fort Worth Report that several studies over the past two decades have looked at the impact of major league sports on cities and it is not as substantial as many believe.

“The long and short of it is that the estimates come in somewhere around $2 to $3 million per game, so it’s not nothing, but it’s not the hundreds of millions that some envision,” he said.

Tourism dollars have increased in Fort Worth in recent years. Earlier this year, Visit Fort Worth officials touted the city’s $3.4 billion impact of tourism from 11.4 million visitors in 2023, up from $3.1 billion and 10.9 million visitors in 2022.

Fort Worth City Council member Carlos Flores, who represents the Stockyards, said he believes businesses in his district will benefit from the MLB Draft event.

“Hosting the 2024 MLB Draft in the Cowtown Coliseum is an honor and a big win for Fort Worth’s professional sports,” Flores said. “I’m excited for the thousands of baseball fans that will visit our historic Stockyards to enjoy distinctive Western culture, entertainment, dining, shopping and hospitality. This will give a big economic boost to our local businesses.”

Eric E. Garcia is a senior business reporter at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

This article first appeared on Fort Worth Report and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.