An economic impact study recently completed for the Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation concludes that the Fox Theatre brings approximately $3.4 million in “direct spending” to downtown Tucson annually. Of that, nearly half is spent at downtown businesses other than the Fox. The biggest beneficiaries are restaurant and bar establishments, where Fox patrons spend $1.2 million annually.

“We are extremely pleased with the results of this survey,” notes Foundation Chairman Terri Saint Pierre.  She adds that “the information contained in the survey affirms the importance of the Fox to the resurgence of downtown Tucson, not to mention the theatre’s place as the “crown jewel of downtown Tucson.” 

In one year, according to the study, patrons who visit downtown for events at the Fox Theatre also spend $100,000 at downtown retail stores, $86,000 at other downtown arts venues, entertainment, and recreation sites, $73,000 at other downtown service establishments, and $61,000 at downtown lodging establishments. This is in addition to the nearly $1.2 million they spend for tickets, $173,000 for concessions, and $467,000 for merchandise and other expenditures at the Fox.

The study also estimates that the theater brings more than 61,000 visitors a year to downtown Tucson (a count of “individual visits,” which may include multiple visits by the same people over time). In the survey, more than 95 percent of Fox patrons indicated they reside outside the downtown area and 77 percent live more than five miles away.

Spending patterns differed based on the type of event attended.  For concertgoers, more than 80 percent reported spending money at other downtown businesses while there, averaging $81.68 per party ($33.07/person). More than 95 percent of those did some of that spending at restaurants and bars at an average of $66.21 per party ($26.81/person).

In addition to direct revenue generated by Fox Theatre at the theatre itself and by spending of Fox patrons at other downtown businesses, the Fox also raises nearly $300,000 annually in sponsorship and donor revenue that generates an economic impact by funding general operations, maintenance, and repair of Fox. 

The survey is the result of a study by Dr. Robert Carreira from AZ Economic Research—a southern Arizona-based economic consulting firm—designed to measure the economic impact of the theater on downtown Tucson. The study included a survey of more than one thousand Fox Theatre patrons regarding their spending patterns while downtown for Fox events.

Carreira emphasized the study measures “only direct impacts—it does not include indirect and induced impacts that result from the spending of Fox Theatre, its patrons, and other businesses and households that receive money from the Fox” or what he refers to as “the spending multiplier, or ripple effects.” He noted “there is unquestionably a larger impact on the downtown area as a result of these tertiary impacts that is not measured by this report.”

 Buildtin 1930, The Fox Tucson Theatre is known throughout the U.S. for its physical beauty and near perfect acoustics. Painstakingly restored after being empty for 25 years, the “Fox” re-opened in 2006.  Today, the state of the art facility offers Tucson’s most exciting year round mix of entertainment, movies, and community events. The ongoing work of the Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation and community support ensures that this Southern Arizona treasure will continue to grow and thrive and provide enjoyment for many generations to come.  The Fox Theatre is located at 17 W. Congress in downtown Tucson. For more information, visit the website at

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