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Swiftonomics / By: Sadie Barash

Most people know Taylor Swift as a worldwide pop star; however, the impact of Ms. Swift goes far beyond that of catchy tunes for teenagers. 

Swift’s most recent tour, The Eras Tour, generated an estimated five billion in economic impact (QuestionPro, 2023). Although tickets to the concert certainly weren’t cheap, Swift’s hefty economic impact came from more than just ticket sales. Devoted fans, also called “Swifties”, traveled across the country to see their favorite singer live. While this may seem like an extreme decision for some, these super fans’ spending benefitted the American economy through their rather expensive travels, averaging $1,300 spent per show (QuestionPro, 2023). One of these super fans, 16-year-old Sarah Portnoy, road-tripped from Chicago to Detroit to see Swift live. Portnoy acknowledged that she “would not have visited Detroit if it wasn’t for Swift,” highlighting that the singer’s shows almost serves as a “tourist attraction” for those cities. Although other entertainment events similarly bring attention to local economies, Portnoy argues that no other artist rivals the widespread appeal of Taylor Swift. 

Between hotels, restaurants, and public transportation, the economies of various US cities prospered when Swift paid them a visit. Chicago itself experienced an economic boom when Swift spent three nights at Soldier Field. CBS News reports that with over 44,000 rooms booked, Chicago hotels held their highest occupancy in the history of the city during Swift’s Chicago shows from June 1st to June 3rd (CBSNews, 2023). Though guests stayed in these hotels to see the show, the vast majority of their time in Chicago was spent exploring the city. Stefan Gruvberger, former General Manager at the LaSalle Chicago Autograph, notes that Swift’s impact came “not only from a hotel standpoint, but also restaurants, bars, transportation, retail, etc.” For example, CTA reported a significant increase in ridership at downtown locations during the Chicago Eras tour. Local shops and restaurants also received a boost in customers for the three days. 

Whether a fan or not, it is impossible to deny the unequivocal impact Taylor Swift has had on local economies across the country. 


Works Cited 

Sarah Portnoy - Jones College Prep student

Stefan Gruvberger - General Manager at The Lasalle Chicago 


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