Brady’s influence on the bay extended well beyond the rust • St. Pete Catalyst


There’s been a lot of talk about Tom Brady’s successes on the field and his contributions to the success of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the past two years, but what about the football legend’s other impact on the Tampa Bay area?

The Bucs, like any NFL franchise, contribute millions to the local economy – both directly and indirectly. This economic impact increases when the team is a enduring Super Bowl contender. The winning teams and their cities host several nationally televised games throughout the season, along with the pomp and circumstance that comes with bringing the best teams and their fans from around the country together for playoff matchups.

According to the December 2021 Pinellas County Economic Development (PCED) report, while it’s difficult to pinpoint the economic impact of the Bucs on the Tampa Bay area, “it’s likely to be in excess of a hundred million” per year. While the numbers are difficult to quantify, several area leaders are confident in the positive impact of having a championship-winning team and an all-time great quarterback call Tampa Bay home.

“Tom Brady is undoubtedly one of the greatest athletes in history,” said JP DuBuque, President and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Council. “The visibility to our region that TB12 has brought along with the other sports franchises positions us as a top-tier region and a place for winners.”

For two years this visibility was seen constantly. From initially renting Baseball Hall of Famer Derek Jeter’s Davis Islands mansion to closing his Clearwater estate to buying a new $6 million yacht, just about everything Brady and his former supermodel Mrs. Giselle Bundchen did make national headlines. National News with Tampa Bay as the backdrop.

According to the PCED report, the Bucs have a team value of $2.94 billion and Raymond James Stadium has a net revenue of $364 million. After winning the Super Bowl in February 2021, the Buccaneers’ team value increased by 29% — even after losing $119 million in stadium revenue for the 2020-21 season due to Covid.

As the Tampa Bay area began its upswing in economic growth prior to 2020, DuBuque noted that Brady’s arrival cemented the region not only as “Champa Bay,” but as an ideal work, life, and play destination.

“His journey to the Buccaneers was so timely,” said DuBuque. “He brought his incredible talent to our region as the Lightning, Rays and Rowdies all played at the top of their respective games and Tampa Bay received recognition as a growing business location … created a perfect storm.”

During the State of the Bay event in January, just a day before reports of Brady’s impending retirement flooded the airwaves, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor conveyed the value it brings to a region to have a legendary athlete and masterful franchise- to have company.

“If you look at the value of Tampa Bay, which has won two Stanley Cups, winning the AL championship and the Super Bowl — that puts you on the world stage,” Castor said.

“We’ve literally had businesses move into the city of Tampa after they came to the Super Bowl.”

Castor said successful sports franchises can not only provide another showcase for a city, but also bring the entire community together.

“…everything that attracts companies, young professionals and families,” adds Castor. “Whatever incentive you can offer, not only for the people who live in your community, but also for those who want to relocate.”

Chris Steinocher, president and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, said Brady brought confidence to the region. Confidence for businesses to invest in the area and confidence for residents knowing they are in a good location. He said that when people are feeling positive and proud, they tend to invest more in themselves and those around them.

Steinocher said Brady also helped transform the feel of the area, an area that many across the country still considered “heaven’s waiting room,” or the embodiment of the film cocoon.

“Well now the impression of Tampa Bay is that these guys are rocking it at a high level and living the best quality of life,” he said. “This is a different Tampa Bay, and that’s exactly what Tom Brady did for us.”

Steinocher believes the Buccaneers’ boat parade after their 2021 championship and the famous shot of Brady tossing the Lombardi Trophy across the Hillsborough River vividly illustrated the Tampa Bay lifestyle to people around the world.

Steinocher said images likely did more for the area than anything Brady has accomplished on the gridiron. People who may never follow football saw a large group of people including one of the best athletes in the world having the time of their lives on the water with downtown Tampa as a backdrop.

“In Pinellas County alone … we get a million dollars a day in new wealth through net migration,” Steinocher said. “If you’re getting those kinds of dollars every day, that’s part of something else that’s going on.”

Brady announced his retirement through a lengthy Instagram post on February 1st. Over eight slides, Brady thanked everyone from his coaches to his family. While Brady didn’t mention New England or the Patriots, he did thank St. Petersburg. He also asked for an invitation to the next boat parade.

Steinocher said he cried when Brady – who many consider the greatest quarterback of all time – mentioned the city of St. Petersburg. The announcement of the retirement – ​​including mentioning St. Petersburg as a place to live – subsequently went viral and will go down in sports history.

“That’s all we ever wanted — to be a part of this whole thing,” he said. “As a new guy in our community who’s fallen in love with her, he sees that there are a lot of people cheering for the Tampa Bay Bucs in this unique community.

“A good leader really makes people feel like they all belong, and he has done that for all of us.”


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