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The MLB All-Star Game begins, but it's not in Georgia. What's the economic impact on the area?

From vendors to politicians, some have said the move brought a $100 million hit to Georgia's economy. Is that true?

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Baseball is at the center of the sports world this week. The Home Run Derby and All-Star Game in Denver, Colorado were supposed to be in Atlanta's backyard. That was before Major League Baseball moved everything there due to the controversy surrounding Georgia's new voting law.

A video released by the National Republican Senatorial Committee on Twitter claims the All-Star game was going to bring a "$100 million boost to Georgia's community until the radical left woke crowd took it all away."

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, said the move was "a $100 million hit to our economy," in a sit-down interview with NBC LX. When asked by the reporter where Raffensperger got that number, he responded that "it was put out there by a lot of organizations and no one has come back and disputed it."

Kennesaw State University Economics Professor J.C. Bradbury, however, said he disputes that number.

"That number is completely, off the charts, not credible," Bradbury said. "Absolutely ridiculous. Economists have been studying the economic impact for 30 years of the sporting events. Very few find any large, positive impact at all."

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He said realistically, it's a loss of less than $5 million because he said the All-Star Game is designed around local fans.

"For example, the first people who have a chance to get tickets are season ticket holders. It's really not one of those events you have tons of people coming in from out of town," he added. "Certainly [ that number is] closer to zero than it is $100 million," he added. 

But small business owners like Sean Cooper, who we first interviewed when baseball decided to move the game, say no matter the number, his bottom line will be affected. 

He said any game is better than no game. His restaurant, Harold's Chicken Shack, sits a couple of minutes away from Truist Park.

"It's still frustrating as far as a business, small business, black-owned business owner," Cooper said. "It's kind of hard to maintain and bring customers in because of the pandemic."

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Professor Bradbury said studies have also been done to look at how the economic impact is spread throughout the area. Bradbury said that had the games been in Cobb County, the impact would not extend past a mile beyond Truist Park.

"We're really not seeing a huge influx of new people, plus, if there was an All-Star Game, it's not like there weren't people coming to stay at the area anyway," he added. "So it's not necessarily this big influx of new revenue."

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