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Wisconsin athletics' economic impact on the state climbs in latest report

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BadgerExtra reporter Colten Bartholomew and columnist Jim Polzin break down what they heard at UW's press conference Tuesday regarding the death of former receiver Devin Chandler and the matchup at Nebraska on Saturday.

The impact of University of Wisconsin athletics on the state economy has rebounded from three years ago, according to a report.

Badgers sports have a $757 million annual economic impact on Wisconsin, a 24% increase from 2019. That was one of the results of an economic impact study produced by Philadelphia consulting firm Econsult Solutions Inc., and released by UW on Wednesday.

Earlier studies showed a $970 million annual impact in 2011 and $610 million in 2019.

UW athletics also is responsible for supporting 5,640 jobs and $285 million in earnings, according to the report.

"We all know and appreciate the more intangible components of the Wisconsin Athletics experience," UW athletic director Chris McIntosh said in a statement. "The fun, the camaraderie, the joy of attending a Badger game. But it can also be measured in dollars and jobs for the citizens of our state. I am proud of the impact our department has locally and throughout Wisconsin."

Each Badgers home football game produces a $19 million impact for the state, according to ESI. That figure was $16 million in 2019.

The drop in economic impact between 2011 and 2019 was due to differences in construction spending by the athletic department, a UW official said three years ago. The studies were a snapshot in time and not necessarily about changes between them.

Higher capital spending figures into the higher new impact estimate, according to the report. UW recently completion a renovation of the south end zone at Camp Randall Stadium and is working on an addition at the Kohl Center.

The Badgers have 23 sports and a $148 million budget for 2022-23, not including capital projects.

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