A study of the impact of the State Games of Mississippi was done after last year's events.
In fact, Dr. Habib Bazyari, professor emeritus at MSU and MSU Meridian business and marketing instructor Jim Lawson, measure the economic impact using participant and spectator responses to a questionnaire. But Bazyari says the State Games is not just about the money.
"It is important for the quality of life issue. But the most important part of it is really something that we did not even try to calculate," said Bazyari. "How much publicity this will bring to Meridian and east central Mississippi?"
And Bazyari says he believes the growth in hotels and restaurants may also be tied to events like the State Games, that demonstrate there's a market for investors in this type of service. He said other communities in a 50-to-60 mile radius are also benefiting.
While Meridian made this competition its own, Bazyari said it may have to do more in the future to hang on to it.
"The city of Meridian and Lauderdale County really should go together and cooperate," said Bazyari. "And not only provide some kind of funds for the State Games, provide some venues for them to try to use so that overcrowding is going to be alleviated in the long run, I hope."
Bazyari said the only negative found in the survey year after year is lack of parking.
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