ND has $833 million effect on local community, study says

by Margaret Fosmoe

SOUTH BEND - The University of Notre Dame has an economic impact of $833 million a year on the community, according to a new study.p. In 2002, Notre Dame spent $536 million on goods and services, with $305.9 million of that spent in St. Joseph County.p. Six Notre Dame home football games each year generate about $38 million in visitor expenditures- more than $6.3 million per home game weekend.p. Those are a few facts reported in a new economic study of the university’s effect on the community.p. The report was commissioned by Notre Dame and prepared by Bay Area Economics, a private consulting firm with headquarters in Berkeley, Calif.p. The report is based on data from fiscal year 2002, from July 1, 2001, to June 30, 2002.p. Notre Dame commissioned the study last spring because the university has received requests over the years for economic data, said James Lyphout, Notre Dame’s vice president for business operations.p. The results produced no big surprises, he said. “It pretty much confirmed our suspicions. If anything, the overall impact is a little more than expected,” Lyphout said.p. The report does a pretty good job of capturing the economic impact of Notre Dame, said Mark Eagan, president and chief executive officer of the Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County.p. “There is no question (ND) has a significant economic impact on our community in economic terms, as well as quality of life,” he said.p. In seeking new employers to the community, economic development specialists looks for the precise characteristics Notre Dame offers, Eagan said: a large number of stable jobs, ranging from basic skills positions to those requiring advanced degrees.p. The fact that the university draws a diversity of workers and students from around the country and around the world makes it even better, he said. “Creative minds help strengthen a community,” he said.p. The report emphasizes the importance of football weekends at $6 million apiece, close to the study’s estimate, Eagan noted.p. p. “Those six weekends a year are critical for our community,” he said.p. This is the first such comprehensive report Notre Dame has commissioned. In the past, the university has done some limited local economic studies of itself, he said.p. “Almost every major university does this kind of report every year or two. It’s helpful to the university and its community,” Lyphout said.p. Notre Dame will share the report with the community and other universities that request it. Universities often compare such studies among their peer institutions.p. The university likely will commission update studies every year or two, Lyphout said.p. The study’s release is unrelated to Notre Dame’s pending request to St. Joseph County for permission to close Juniper Road through campus and shift that traffic to the east, Lyphout said.p. “This report is strictly a source of information. It’s not any leverage we’re trying to obtain,” he said.p. The $833 million annual impact represents the total annual expenditures by the university, its students and visitors.p. Among other conclusions in the report:* Notre Dame remains St. Joseph County’s largest employer, with 4,070 full-time employees. An estimated 8,655 additional jobs exist locally because of spending related to the university and its visits.

  • In fiscal year 2002, Notre Dame drew 673,000 visitors from outside St. Joseph County who spent about $92.1 million at area hotels, restaurants and retailers.
  • Notre Dame is the second most visited attraction in Indiana, second only to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  • The university paid $285,000 in hotel-motel taxes and property taxes on off-campus properties for 2002. (As a nonprofit organization, most Notre Dame facilities are exempt from property taxes.)
  • Notre Dame students and employees volunteer an estimated 455,000 hours annually.
  • The university draws about 673,000 out-of-area visitors annually, about one third of whom visit during football season.
  • From 1997 through 2002, Notre Dame spent an average of $52.1 million annually in building construction.
  • 4,097 Notre Dame graduates live and work in St. Joseph County, including 2,269 in the city of South Bend.

By the numbers: Notre Dame employment * Annual payroll: $290 million

  • Employees: 4,070 full time, 688 part time
  • Total: 4,758 faculty/staff
  • Employees living in St. Joseph County: 4,152
  • Spin-off jobs outside the university: 8,655
  • Based on fiscal year 2002

Source: University of Notre Dame
The full report is available online at: http://impact.nd.edu .

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