How much money does Grizzly Athletics pump into the Missoula economy? It’s a question that most locals have an opinion about, but one that has rarely been studied…until now.  Bureau of Business and Economic Research Director Patrick Barkey has been digging into the question and explains some of the factors involved.

"There is the fact that student athletes live here," said Barkey. "There is clearly all the spending by visitors who attend events, but in addition to that there are a lot of intangible things like the impact of athletics on the Universities brand. Also, how the exposure of athletics on National media helps the economy by giving people a look at the community that otherwise wouldn't happen if it weren't for those events."

Though Barkey was hesitant to release any of the bureau’s findings yet, he did say some results would be “eye-popping.”

"It is not a secret that Griz Athletics is a very nationally prominent and much admired sports program from other Universities and colleges around the country especially those of our size," Barkey said. "I think anyone could say without doing a study that we have a very well run athletic program here at the University and one that many other Universities would like to copy."

Barkey will present full results from the economic survey at a presentation on Thursday, September 15 at The University of Montana in conjunction with Kent Haslam from Grizzly Athletics.