An independent voice and a Texas A&M economics professor weighed in today with opinions that a report by The Perryman Group, which projected significant job and financial losses within the state if A&M left the Big 12, contains misleading or inaccurate projections.
Dr. Tom Saving, an A&M economics professor, called the group’s findings “astounding” and “ridiculous.”
Dr. Ray Perryman, a Baylor graduate and Waco-based economist, projected that a Texas A&M departure from the existing Big 12, with no replacement team, would create a loss of 3,050 jobs and a $217.2 million in output (gross product) annually in Texas.
Saving countered that playing more games against SEC opponents would have “a positive effect on Texas’ economy” because more out-of-state visitors would attend A&M’s conference games. Those fans would patronize hotels and restaurants, unlike Baylor and Texas fans who typically would make same-day commutes _ with no hotel or restaurant stay _ for games in College Station.
He also countered that in a state like Texas, with a $1.2 trillion economy, the figure cited for potential losses by Perryman ($217.2 million) represents less than one-tenth of one percent of the state’s total production.
“I don’t think the Texas economy revolves around … football games,” Saving said.
On the BusinessOfCollegeSports.com website, independent analyst Kristi Dosh also questioned the Perryman findings. She cited a study on the impact of college football games that showed those contests increase taxable activity by approximately $400,000 in the city holding the game.
Applying that figure to a Baylor-A&M football game in Waco, she projected the contest would add “approximately 0.024% of the Waco economy. Not exactly hysteria-inducing numbers.”
Dosh pointed out that she is not an economist, just someone who has run the numbers and raised some questions. Her take: “The question is why is Texas A&M responsible for the local economy in Waco? Any economy dependent on a football game that happens once every two years has bigger problems than A&M moving to the SEC.”
_ Jimmy Burch