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During their annual $5 Weekend in March, the Pensacola Ice Flyers generated an economic impact of just under $1 million to the local economy from more than 14,000 game attendees, the team announced Tuesday.

The team commissioned Victus Advisors from Park City, Utah to calculate the economic impact generated during March 3 and 4. According to the team, the company used a sampling of 420 attendees who attended one or both of the games. The primary sources analyzed for the study were in-facility expenditures and out-of-facility expenditures. The in-facility sources included ticket sales, concessions, merchandise, sponsorships, advertising, parking and other fees, while the out-of-facility expenditures included lodging, restaurants, bars, entertainment, transportation, and other visitor spending.

“This has been a tremendous success for the organization and our local community every year since we began holding this special weekend in the 2013-14 season,” Ice Flyers owner Greg Harris said. “We work extremely hard to impact and give back to the Pensacola area in every way a professional sports team should, and we felt quantifying this one weekend was important.”

The Pensacola Bay Center. (Drew Buchanan/The Pulse)

According to data from the Southern Professional Hockey Leauge, the Ice Flyers are one of the most attended teams in the SPHL, ranking third out of ten teams in average gameday attendance. The Ice Flyers sold out with 6,218 tickets on March 3 with another sold out game with 8,049 attendees on March 4.

According to the consulting group, visitors to Escambia County contributed 58 percent to the impact. 44 percent of the weekend attendees were Escambia County residents and 29 percent were from Santa Rosa County. Florida counties comprised 88 percent of attendees, 10 percent from Alabama counties and 2 percent attended from other states.

The study showed that the average party per game was 4.8 people while the direct spending per party for each game was $233. That number increased to $574 for those requiring hotel rooms, with 290 hotel rooms booked in the local area over the weekend.

The median age of attendees was between 40 and 49, with 63 percent between 30 and 59. 64 percent were married and 37 percent represented current military or military veterans. The report stated 66 percent of the weekend attendees had a household income between $50,000 and $149,999, 73 percent were currently employed and 21 percent were retired. According to the study, the gameday weekend also supported $184,305 in annual wages in Escambia County.

Although the $963,944 economic impact that resulted from the study applied to only the two home games stated, each season’s economic impact to the local economy could be assumed to be significantly larger the team said in a statement. The Ice Flyers host 28 home games each season, and consistently host two to four home playoff games every season, bringing three league championships in the past six seasons to Escambia County.

“We’re here to serve our community and we continually focus on the full-circle effect that our games and our presence in Escambia County have,” Harris said. “It’s never just about the Ice Flyers. It’s about impacting local businesses, non-profit organizations, families, the military, schools, churches, the Pensacola Bay Center, Escambia County and all the employees and volunteers.”

Harris added that the team is dedicated to supporting the local community.

“We’re all in this together and we’re very proud to represent Pensacola while doing our part to increase the quality of life for the citizens of Escambia County and the surrounding area,” Harris said.

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