By Jonathan Jarbou
Entirely East Lansing staff writer
At the 9th annual “Meet The Spartans” Football event Tuesday Afternoon, the city of East Lansing was reminded just how much Michigan State University means to the community.
The event generated plenty of buzz is the estimated crowd reached over 5000 people and East Lansing vendors were reminded just how much not only the Spartan Football team contributes to their business, but how much the Spartan community contributes. Even Mayor Victor Loomis was in attendance.
Tents were set up far and wide displaying the diverse selection of venues in the area. Lansing Airport Director of Market Development Nicole Noll-Williams was on hand at LAN’s tent passing out two different free t-shirts. One t-shirt sported the slogan ‘Fly LAN, Get Tan, while the other said ‘True Spartans Fly Lansing.’
“The Lansing Airport is an athletic sponsor for the university, and we get plenty of support from the faculty and staff that travel from Lansing to anywhere in the world,” Noll-Williams said. “We’re looking forward to the season, all the games coming up, and hopefully a lot of trips heading to a fabulous bowl game.”
Along with LAN, other tents set up in hopes of promoting to a portion of what makes East Lansing such a lucrative destination for business. Crunchy’s general Manager Mike Krueger was among a crowd of tents promoting by handing out flyers. Verizon Wireless choose to give out sunglasses, while the Michigan State Federal Credit Union was giving out watches.
“We are a university community and we recognize that and embrace that,” East Lansing City Manager Tim Dempsey said in a previous interview.
The event brought out Spartan fans from far and wide to the event, as some said they made long drives to come out and experience the MSU environment.
“It’s been great; we’ve been here all day, walking through the campus, eating ice cream on the Michigan State Campus,” Kathy Dittrich said as her and her grandson enjoyed the event.
In a report by the Anderson Economic Group the net fiscal impact of Michigan State University on the city of East Lansing. The report’s conclusion stated that MSU has a positive net impact on the city’s budget.
The conclusion went on to say that the analysis suggests that it is costly for the City to provide public services for the MSU community, and that payments from the University cover most, but not all, of these costs. Another variable that needs to be measured is the amount of traffic events like Meet The Spartans, or Saturday tailgates generate.
“I think the report is just stating the obvious,” Michigan State economics major Ryan Battaglia Said. “The university is the first thing you think about when you hear East Lansing. Without it East Lansing just wouldn’t be East Lansing.”
The report went on to state that the city greatly benefits from the University’s presence, in the form of increased property tax revenue and state-shared revenue due to the added population and economic activity generated by the University. When all three categories of costs and benefits are taken into account, it is clear that the net fiscal impact on the City is quite positive.
Along with giving the city an unmistakable identity, Michigan State University brings the city of East Lansing to life financially and socially