The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; The Gift That Keeps Giving

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and its host city shot from Newschopper 5

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and its host city shot from Newschopper 5


What would you say if someone said to you give me $92 and I’ll give you $107 back, then next year I’ll give you another $107 and so on and so on?   That is essentially the cash cow the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has been to Cleveland.   It cost $92 million to build the Rock Hall back in the early 90’s and it continues to pump $107 million annually into Northeast Ohio’s economy.  Not a bad return eh?

When I worked in politics years ago the Congressman I use to work for would always say “the roll of government isn’t to create jobs, the roll of government is to create the enviorment that enables the private sector to create jobs.”  Nothing exemplifies that more than the Rock Hall.

Since it’s opening in September 1995 more than 7-million visitors have passed through its doors.  It is the most attended Hall of Fame in the world.  More than 90% of them are from outside of the region, so they’re bringing their money from out of state and pumping it into not only the Rock Hall but our hotels and restaurants.   And if they’re here for an overnight stay they’re even more likely to check out Playhouse Square, University Circle or take in a Cavs or Indians game.  

But while it’s easy to look at the direct impact of the Hall there’s an impact you don’t see, it gives this city a sense of self!  Let’s face it the I.M. Pei designed building is a symbol synonomous with its host and enables Cleveland to offer conventions and sporting events something others can’t and never will have. 


When the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission pitches Cleveland to a major sporting event they usually have a mock up of the events logo with a Rock & Roll theme, work a guitar into it like they did with the NCAA Women’s Final Four in 2007.   Throw in the idea of the event hosting a reception at the Hall for its guests then all of a sudden you’ve landed a happening that will be putting more people in your hotel rooms and money in the regions pockets.   Not bad for a $92 million dollar investment.


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