Despite Economy, Entertainment Dollars Being Spent

The economy is tough, but even in difficult times, perhaps especially in difficult times, we do find ways to be entertained. With disposable income shrinking, are Omahans still able to go out on the town?

"Going out, hanging out with your friends, going to movies," said Brandy Workman. She and her friend have already made those cuts in lieu of one night out, seeing their favorite band Metallica perform at the Qwest Center.

"Tickets, parking, dinner beforehand, it all adds up in the long run,” said Tricia Copeland. “You have to be pretty good fans to spend that kind of money and come out for an evening."

For the last quarter, Americans' disposable income fell by the largest percentage since the 1940s. We have less money when it comes to eating out, renting a room or buying concert tickets.

"We're doing all right," said Bob Hall. Even for those getting by like the Hall brothers, the dire economy hits them in other ways. "There's actually a couple people I'm trying to help with my extra income,” said Philip Hall. “I'm doing what I can."

"When the economy gets tight, one of the first areas you look to cut is in entertainment and donations,” said Creighton Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen.

Sports isn't immune either. It's just there's often some lag time before the impact is realized. The Creighton men's basketball team has one of the best season ticket bases in the country and it showed again this year.

Season ticket commitments increased by more than 700 seats from 12,888 last season to 13,600 this season. Granted, the economy was in better shape last February and March when orders went in.

“In the next six months we'll have a lot better read at where our support will be,” said Rasmussen. “We're certainly not assuming our support will stay as strong as it's been, but we'll do everything we can to make certain it's there."

Not only has the Creighton men's basketball team seen an increase in season ticket commitments the past year, but they've seen more boosters as well.

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