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May 15, 2024

Report: College Street, Westville music halls have $50M economic impact on New Haven

Google College Street Music Hall, New Haven

New Haven’s College Street Music Hall and Westville Music Bowl have been major economic drivers for the Elm City, generating more than $50 million in total impact in 2023.

That’s a 216% increase in economic impact compared to 2018, according to the New Haven Center for Performing Arts 2023 Economic Impact Study, conducted by Mark Paul Gius, professor of economics at Quinnipiac University,

On Wednesday, city officials promoted the venues by sharing results of the study.

Additionally, in 2023, a total of 922 jobs were created in the New Haven region due to the existence of both venues, whereas in 2018, only 280 jobs were created. 

The report looked at both the direct and induced economic impacts of the venues on the city. Direct impact is money spent by music hall patrons, whereas the induced impact is the additional employment and expenditures of local industries because of the direct economic impact, such as when businesses hire more workers who then purchase more goods and services in the area.

The report was based on surveys – both online and on-site – of patrons at both venues, with 162 surveys conducted from College Street and 440 surveys collected from Westville.

According to survey results, the average expenditure per College Street patron was $236, and $261 at Westville, for a combined average expenditure of
$254 per patron.

“These average expenditure amounts are substantially greater than the average expenditure amount noted in the 2018 report, which was $146,” the report said.

Total attendance for College Street was 71,742, and 52,710 for Westville, with  58% of the combined average expenditure having been spent on tickets. Combined attendance for 2023 was 124,452, compared to 70,649 in 2018. 

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker on Wednesday was joined by city economic development officials as well as local entertainment industry leaders to also kickoff another economic driver, New Haven’s 2024 outdoor dining season.

Outdoor dining options include repurposed parking spaces and sidewalks, alongside traditionally privately-owned lots. To date, 23 establishments have been approved for the city’s 2024 outdoor dining program and another 20 applications are pending, according to the mayor’s office.


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