Villanova prof sees big difference in Philly’s potential DNC revenue

    Villanova Business School professor David Fiorenza says that Philadelphia stands to bring in $130 million in revenue during the DNC. (Jennifer Lynn/WHYY)

    Villanova Business School professor David Fiorenza says that Philadelphia stands to bring in $130 million in revenue during the DNC. (Jennifer Lynn/WHYY)

    It will be months — perhaps years — before Philadelphia gets an accurate read on the real economic effect of hosting the Democratic National Convention.

    Early estimates by the former Nutter administration put the economic effect in the ballpark of $350 million in direct benefit to the city and its immediate surroundings.

    However, a Villanova University business professor said the actual impact could be much less than that.

    “Cities try to sell their product,” said David Fiorenza, an instructor at Villanova’s School of Business. “Their product is conventions, conferences, and tourism. So the city is going to put its best number forward to try to host this convention.”

    Fiorenza said the city actually stands to pull in closer to $130 million. He took the numbers of prior conventions and events — including the 2000 Republican National Convention — then applied the best estimates of the most people attending along with projected spending.

    “What I have done is I’ve subtracted things as donors and sponsorship because that funding would be used by the DNC in other cities and is not an economic indicator for me,” he said. “What’s an economic indicator and multiplier for me is an actual dollar being spent.

    “I’m also taking out $40 million for expanded security,” he added. “This may or may not be a line item that is reimbursable to the city for FBI, Homeland Security, and other services.”

    To hear more of this interview and hear how he came to this conclusion fully, press play at the top of the page.

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