New Research Reveals Significant Economic Impact of Amateur Sport in Calgary

CALGARY, Alberta — An independent economic study, the Economic Significance of Amateur Sport in Calgary, has indicated that amateur sport is a significant contributor to Calgary’s economy.

Using conservative estimates and methodologies, preliminary findings of the study reveal several major results, based on 2016 data:

  • The “Gross Municipal Amateur Sport Product” in Calgary was over $1.2 billion, which represents the sum of expenditures such as private household consumption (over $715 million), various levels of government spending (nearly $150 million), balance of trade (over $350 million), and other private capital investments.
  • The overall GDP (value added) impact on the Calgary economy of these expenditures was approximately $1.1 billion; amateur sport supported almost 1.0% of Calgary’s GDP.
  • The overall impact on wages and salaries on the Calgary economy of these expenditures was approximately $750 million; amateur sport supported almost 2.3% of Calgary’s employment.
  • Amateur sport spending had an effect on employment in Calgary of almost 17,000 full-time jobs.
  • While contributing to amateur sport in Calgary, volunteers provided an estimated 15 million hours.

The full research report, which will be released later this month, was completed by Caminata Consulting, in advance of Calgary City Council discussions regarding a proposed Sport for Life Policy. Caminata Consulting completed a similar economic impact report in 2005 in coordination with the release of the current Civic Sport Policy.

As part of their combined efforts to recognize the value of sport in Calgary, the research report was commissioned by a consortium of partners, including Sport Calgary, Tourism Calgary, Calgary Economic Development, and The City of Calgary.

The research will support ongoing initiatives by organizations like Calgary Economic Development to tirelessly promote Calgary across the world, and Tourism Calgary to attract world-class events which produce economic and social benefits for sport, culture, tourism, and community. As well, the research will be used by The City of Calgary in its Triple Bottom Line approach to illustrate the value of recreation, the sport sector and the importance of the proposed Sport for Life Policy as a contributor to achieving Council’s priorities.  

The report also recognizes the significant non-economic benefits of sport, such as improved health and fitness, productivity, mental well-being, and community cohesion.

The Economic Significance of Amateur Sport study will reinforce Calgarians’ pride in being a sport city. The report will be valuable as a credible reference point when considering important reviews and public decisions regarding municipal sport policies, capital and operating budgets, and ongoing legacies from sporting events.

About Sport Calgary
Sport Calgary is a volunteer non-profit society, representing sport in the city of Calgary. Sport Calgary is an official Civic Partner of the City of Calgary. As an advocate of sport, we strive to assist, support and influence the growth of sport in Calgary by: 

  • Playing a lead role in the implementation of the Calgary Civic Sport Policy, and ensuring it continues to create a vision for sport in Calgary from introductory to high performance levels
  • Continually identifying and assessing the needs of the sport community and facility stakeholders
  • Encouraging development and enhancement of appropriate facilities and the efficient utilization of current facilities
  • Fostering collaboration within the sport community and coordination of resources amongst stakeholders to develop and enhance facilities
  • Increasing the profile of sport in Calgary, and advocating the values and benefits of sport
  • Facilitating education and training opportunities for athletes, coaches, officials, administrators, parents and volunteers
  • Acting as a resource for sport organizations
  • Encouraging the hosting of sport events and sport tourism in Calgary
David Benson