Professor Alyson Ma Predicts Local Economic Impact of MLB's Bubble Format

Directory photo of USD Professor of Economics Alyson Ma
begin quoteIt will not likely make a significant dent but it will certainly help.

The COVID-19 pandemic has slashed tourism in San Diego forcing the city to get creative on how to make up for lost revenues. Professor of Economics Alyson Ma shares her economic insights on how Major League Baseball's (MLB) bubble format, which will be utilizing San Diego's Petco Park, may help boost San Diego's economy. 

Excerpt as it appears in CBS:

MLB bubble plan could mean major economic boost for San Diego

MLB announced Tuesday that San Diego will play host to one of four regional playoff locations at Petco Park starting next month. The playoff schedule announced will culminate with MLB's first neutral-site World Series, played in Arlington, Texas. 

The move is part of the league's bubble format, to help playoff teams eliminate travel and limit exposure to COVID -19.

The plan calls for Petco Park to serve as a "neutral-site" for only the best teams to compete in the American League playoff series.

Under the schedule, Petco Park will play host to a best-of-five American League Division Series beginning Oct. 6. The other ALDS series will be played at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, beginning Oct. 5. 

Both series will be played on five consecutive days.

The winners of the two ALDS series will advance to the best-of-seven American League Championship Series, which will be played at Petco Park beginning Oct. 11, also with no days off between games.

Fans won’t be allowed in the stands, and players not at the ballpark will be restricted to their hotels. But local tourism leaders promise the economic impact will be major.

“To have San Diego on national TV from September 29 to October 15 is just fantastic because it's just a great story to tell,” said San Diego Tourism Authority President and CEO Julie Coker.

Coker said it's not just our weather or the Padres' winning record that played a factor in MLB’s pick. She believes the region's careful attention to the COVID crisis had something to do with it.

“San Diegans should be proud we've been wearing our masks, physical distancing, taking precautions,” said Coker

“Being able to show that San Diego is a great place will definitely boost our tourism,” said University of San Diego Economist Alyson Ma.

Ma said it comes down to more local hotel stays, along with a potential boost in shopping and dining.

“It will not likely make a significant dent relative to the loss in the number of visitors we've had this year due to COVID, but it will certainly help,” she said.


Renata Ramirez
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