A newly released study revealed what everyone already knows, that Grizzly sports brings millions of dollars into the Missoula economy. 

The University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research sharpened their pencils and got to work on a study to quantify the economic effects of Grizzly sports and came up with some eye-popping numbers.

Director Patrick Barkey said they're huge.

"When you combine football, men's and women's basketball there's total spending of about $30 million," Barkey said. "You're talking about a fairly sizable operation which brings in upwards of $22 million in revenue. It's much more robust and broad-based that you might think."

Barkey said the best way to appreciate the impact of Grizzly sports to Missoula, is to imagine the community's economy without it.

"If you imagine a Missoula where there is no Grizzly athletics, then you're looking at a smaller economy," he said. "An economy with over 1,300 fewer jobs, it has $120 million less in sales than are relized by Missoula businesses, it has incomes to Missoula residents of almost $53 million per year less. I think the numbers are surprisingly large."

Among the statistics, 1,384 permanent jobs spread across a wide spectrum of industries, $120.8 million in gross sales annually for Missoula-area businesses and other providers of goods and services, $52.8 million in annual earning, including wages, benefits and earnings of the self-employed, a Missoula population increase of 1,334 people, about $2.5 million in Missoula spending from out-of-area attendees for each home football game, $5.5 million spent on housing, food and other living expenses by 343 varsity athletes at UM.

Barkey said residents shouldn't be surprised that such a successful athletic program translates into a sizable benefit to the entire economy of Missoula.

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