Game developer Riot Games and the city of Raleigh, North Carolina, have released data surrounding the 2023 LCS Spring Finals’ economic impact on the city.
According to the two parties, the esports event generated $2.74m (~£2.16m) of ‘direct economic’ impact into the city. This includes lodging, retail, transportation, recreation and business services.
The event, which took place in April 2023 at Raleigh’s PNC Arena, saw the top three LCS teams Cloud9, FlyQuest and Golden Guardians compete for a place at the 2023 Mid-Season Invitational. According to data platform Esports Charts, the event saw a total of 271,000 viewers at its peak, making it one of the lowest-viewed splits in LCS history.
However, in-person data shows that the event was a success for the local economy. According to data provided by the City of Raleigh and Riot Games, the event garnered more than $600,000 (A£393,000) via transportation and around $550,000 (~£433,000) via recreation. Retail, food and beverage impacts came to around $500,000 (~£393,000) each, making the total amount somewhere around $2.74m.
The calculations excluded the spending of local residents, which also visited the event and spent money there. According to a release, a main reason for this economic impact was the festival area (Fan Fest) that took place at the same time as the finals, allowing fans access to food, drinks and other services offered by local brands and other activations.
Loren Gold, Executive Vice President at Visit Raleigh, commented on the news: “This is the first time that a major esports publisher has ever hosted a festival of this calibre here in the Greater Raleigh area outside of their ticketed event.
“Free and open to the public, it was incredible to witness the PNC Arena transform into a place where the League of Legends community came together to enjoy each other and the best Raleigh has to offer.”