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The economic impact of Griz football playoff games on Missoula

The Montana Grizzlies have hosted four sellout football games in the past five weeks. Where does the revenue from all of those games go?
M Store Missoula
Posted at 8:39 AM, Dec 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-25 10:39:48-05

MISSOULA — The Montana Grizzlies have hosted four sellout football games for the Brawl of the Wild and the FCS playoffs over the past five weeks.

But where does the revenue from all of those games go and how does having all of those fans here in Missoula impact its local businesses?

Spirits have been high in Missoula since the Grizzlies punched their ticket to the FCS National Championship Game.

With over 20,000 people attending each playoff game, you may think the revenue would go directly to the school and its athletic programs — but that is not the case.

“Hosting playoff games, the bulk of that revenue does go to the NCAA. This is an NCAA Championship event but we are able to gain some revenue off of that," explained UM Athletic Director Kent Haslam. "That helps support our programs we’ll use the bulk of that revenue now to take a team to Frisco Texas and all that goes along with that. We certainly know that all this… 26 thousand people sitting in a football stadium and spending time in this community definitely has positive ripple effects.”

Some of those ripple effects have been an increase in traffic through bars and restaurants, but one of the biggest increases has been the sale of Griz gear.

M Store Abby Lassard manager says online orders for gear have been piled up and their sales have increased a lot.

“We’ve had to do basically nine home games this season instead of six which has been kind of an adjustment, but yeah it’s definitely been very good," Lassard told MTN News. "Our sales have grown I would say probably exponentially in comparison to last year. In comparison to where we are today...we’ve made about four times as much as we did all of last December at the same time.”

If the Griz pull off a championship game win in Frisco, Texas on January 7, 2023, the M Store will have orders of championship gear available shortly after.