Taylor Swift boosted Silicon Valley economy by $33M
The pair of Taylor Swift concerts in Santa Clara brought an estimated $33 million boost to the local economy, experts say. Photo by Terrell Lloyd.

    Swiftie or not, pop star Taylor Swift is undeniably a money magnet — and new financial figures show a massive boost for Silicon Valley’s economy from the artist’s two-day stop at Levi’s Stadium.

    Dan Rascher, president of Sports Economics, LLC, who analyzes the business of sporting events and concerts, told San José Spotlight that 60,000 swifties packed the stadium July 28-29 for Swift’s Eras Tour.

    Rascher said 70% of attendees were out-of-towners, higher than the average 50-65% visitors Levi’s Stadium typically sees. Traveling swifties spent $19 million on lodging, food and entertainment in Santa Clara County through the pop star’s tour stop, he said, who’d already coughed up sometimes thousands of dollars for tickets.

    “That leads to a total economic impact of around $33.5 million,” Rascher told San José Spotlight. “That money gets respent in town over time, and that usually takes a few months.”

    Swifties are spending 20% to 25% more per day and staying in the area where concerts are hosted 20% longer than other fans around the country, Rascher said. But even the eleven-time Grammy winner doesn’t have the economic pull that a Super Bowl would — some $240 million when it was hosted at Levi’s Stadium in 2016 — which will return to the 49ers’ home in 2026.

    “The multi-day events are the ones that typically have the largest economic impact,” said Rascher, who regularly works with Levi’s Stadium to determine the economic impact of its events. “(Taylor Swift) would be the highest amongst the concerts that I’ve seen.”

    The city of Santa Clara, under the leadership of Mayor Lisa Gillmor, has had a contentious relationship with the 49ers and Levi’s Stadium.

    Gillmor and her allies for years have waged a war with the 49ers, including legal fights over raising the team’s rent and financial oversight, revoking its right to manage stadium operations and enacting a curfew to tamper noise complaints from neighbors. The curfew requires the stadium to go dark by 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

    The 49ers said the curfew cost millions of dollars in revenue and high-profile acts like Ed Sheeran to ditch Santa Clara entirely. In a split vote, Santa Clara policymakers decided in late 2021 to allow five extensions to the weeknight curfew until 11 p.m. per year for non-NFL events.

    Swift’s concert on both nights went past the stadium’s curfew, as did its subsequent fireworks show.

    Longtime Santa Clara political consultant Rich Robinson said the city should celebrate the economic success from concerts such as Swift’s instead of complain about a curfew.

    “They named Taylor Swift mayor for a day, I think many would have preferred her to have stayed on (longer),” Robinson said. “At the end of the day, the city of Santa Clara is making money hand over fist as a result of this venue, and everybody should recognize that.”

    Santa Clara will be issuing $2,000 in permit violation fines to Pyrotek Special Effects, Inc., Swift’s pyrotechnics experts, city officials confirmed.

    “The woman gave Second Harvest Food Bank enough money to feed 500,000 people for a year, and they’re going to fine her for pyrotechnics. Are you kidding me?” Robinson said. “That sounds outrageous… fireworks go off in that stadium every week with the Niners. What’s the problem?”

    Contact Ben Irwin at [email protected] or follow @B1rwin on Twitter.

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