Houston’s largest annual event pumps hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy and has expanded its attendance over the last five years.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo today released its first economic impact report since 2019, the year before the pandemic shuttered the event. According to the mega-nonprofit, the economic impact from this past season’s World Championship Barbecue Contest and three-week rodeo totaled $326.4 million, a 44% increase from 2019.

The Rodeo defines economic impact as unique spending by visitors to the event. However, calculating the overall economic activity of the event including spending by locals, brings the tally up to $597.1 million—a significant 53% increase over 2019.

The local hotel market benefits significantly during Rodeo season. According to the report, between direct and indirect lodging expenses, the event generated more than $95 million in spending at area hotels.     

Jobs are another significant measure of the Rodeo’s impact. More than 3,500 jobs are directly tied to the event with several thousand more jobs indirectly supported by the Rodeo and its activity.

Overall attendance at this year’s Rodeo hit 2.55 million, up from 2.51 million in 2019, but shy of a record set in 2017.

Economic Analytics Consulting LLC produced the impact study on behalf of the Rodeo. The group conducted on-site surveys during the event to generate the report.

Written by A.J. Mistretta 

Photo: Lance Childers 

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