The Weekend Catch-Up: The Economics of Taylor Swift Give Big Boost to SF Bay Area Economy, Public Transport

Plus: CA is seeing an uptick in Covid-19 cases and a small earthquake rattled South Bay Sunday morning. 

This past weekend, Taylor Swift descended on Santa Clara — or “Swiftie Clara,” as it was officially renamed to honor the twelve-time Grammy winner Saturday and Sunday — bringing with her a ubiquitous music catalog. (Y’all already know how we feel about the commercial narratives wrapped around her profitable whiteness.)

Regardless of how you feel about the songbird, there’s no denying her impact, cultural and otherwise. Each city she’s brought the Eras Tour to this year has experienced a temporary boom in local business, as well as public transit ridership.

The Bay Area was no different. It’s now estimated that Swift’s presence in Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium brought nearly $15 million to businesses located around the arena. Moreover: Swifites broke a record for the number of people riding Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority (VTA) light rail trains en route to Levi’s Stadium. Per VTA, around 23,400 boardings occurred to and from the concert — which is more than twice the 10,000 boardings reported to Levi’s Stadium during Super Bowl 50 in 2016.

While some things we inevitably can’t shake off about her monopoly in the music industry, we can’t help but glow favorably on Swift’s positive impact on public transport agencies and regional economies. 

What else transpired over the weekend? Let’s take a look.

  • Of course, DA Jenkins dropped charges in that viral car-jacking-turned-aerial-crash. The SF District Attorney said in a statement that Kevin Nelson, 36, and Jennifer Bonham, 31, are currently not facing face charges for carjacking, possession of a stolen car, and conspiracy “pending further investigation and witness availability,” though this could change in the future. More info.
  • California is seeing a slight uptick in Covid-19 infections. But local and state health officials note that these infections aren’t leading to a worrying rise in hospitalizations — and, as of publishing, around 7,500 Covid-19-related hospitalizations were reported the week of July 15, which is over six times less than what we observed during the Omicron surge in December of 2021. More info. 
  • Did you feel that kind of small tremor in the South Bay? The USGS recorded a 3.6-magnitude earthquake around Morgan Hill early Sunday morning; no injuries or property damages were reported because of the shake. More info. 
  • Outside Lands 2023 is now less than two weeks away… which means $150-plus dollar rideshares are looming. Here’s your PSA to take BART to get into SF… and, if you’re already in the city, embrace Muni, the festival’s shuttle service, walking, and basically any other means of transportation outside the personal car. More info.

Feature Image: Courtesy of Twitter via [at]theerastour

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