Economic Impact Study

About the Study

Conducted in 2016, funded by Seattle Center Foundation, and led by Dr. William Beyers and GMA Research, the study surveyed Seattle Center visitors and businesses to determine the overall economic impact of the campus. Visitors provided detailed information about their expenditures and activities, and businesses provided information on their revenues, expenditures and attendance.

Dr. William Beyers, Professor Emeritus, Department of Geography at the University of Washington, researched and authored the study’s report and Don Morgran, Senior Partner at GMA Research, designed the sampling plan and tabulated data from the visitory surveys.

Study Highlights

  • The combined spending of Seattle Center visitors and businesses created $1.864 billion in business activity, 18,621 jobs and $631 million in labor income in King County.
  • “New money” economic impacts, those related to sales or income originating outside King County that would not occur if the activities at Seattle Center were not present, yielded $1.182 billion in business activity, 10,625 jobs, $381 million in labor income and $65 million in tax revenues.
  • 7,446 people are directly employed by businesses, including the many arts and cultural organizations, at Seattle Center.
  • State and local governments receive $90 million in tax revenues as a result of the business activity at Seattle Center.
  • Seattle Center is a major regional destination, which about 42% of visitors coming from King County, 14% from other areas of Washington and 44% from out of state.
  • 86% of visitors to Seattle Center indicated that the primary reason for their trip was to attend a performance, exhibition or event.
  • Seattle Center visitors spent $815 million in relation to their visits to Seattle Center.
  • Business activity among the many non-profit and for-profit businesses on the grounds contributed to total revenue at Seattle Center of $303 million.

“Financial success is critical to fulfilling our purpose at Seattle Center, to delight and inspire individuals and build strong communities. The statistics and stories contained in the Study demonstrate our reach and impact economically; and ultimately, speak to our effectiveness in serving Seattle residents and the region as a whole.”
– Robert Nellams, Seattle Center Director

“Seattle Center Foundation actively inspires broad community engagement to support and promote the evolution of Seattle Center, so we are pleased to that the Economic Impact Study verifies Seattle Center’s role as a strong economic contributor in our region.”
– Jane Zalutsky, Seattle Center Foundation Executive Director