The Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau said Friday that the December Military Bowl, held at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, generated more than $17 million for the region, a nearly 25 percent increase from the 2013 game.
Bureau president and CEO Connie Del Signore said the Dec. 27 game, which pitted Virginia Tech against Cincinnati, was a win/win for all involved.
"The excitement of hosting the Military Bowl was magnified by the fact that it took place at a time of year when hotels and downtown businesses typically could use a boost," Del Signore said.
Using an event calculation formula created by Destination Marketing Association International, the bureau determined Military Bowl attendees accounted for more than 32,000 hotel room nights resulting in more than $4 million in lodging costs. Military Bowl fans also spent more than $2.6 million on transportation, more than $3 million on food and beverages, and more than $3.3 million each on retail and recreational opportunities, officials said. The event directly supported an estimated 8,000 jobs.
Military Bowl President and Executive Director Steve Beck said a slate of activities surrounding the matchup — including Military Bowl Eve, the Military Bowl 5K, Military Bowl Parade and the official tailgate — added to the appeal of the 2014 game.
According to a Smith Travel Research Report, Annapolis and Anne Arundel County's average hotel room occupancy for the Thursday-Saturday of Military Bowl weekend was 50.4 percent, compared to 41.3 percent in 2013.
The average daily rate for the same three-day period was $85.55 compared to $78.17 in 2013.