How Bad Would Things Get If Texas Tech Moved Out Of Lubbock?
The idea that big businesses and institutions can't just pick up and move is insane.
Some of us have watched Florida's fight with Disneyworld with great interest. It doesn't really matter which side of that fight you're on, you'd have to admit other states would give anything to relocate the park and bring all that money into their local economy. It's not a matter of whether could it be done either, as Disneyworld was originally looking at both New Orleans and St. Louis.
In Montgomery, West Virginia, West Virginia State closed their local campus and now the town is becoming a ghost town. This got me to thinking, what would happen if Texas Tech were to leave, or even just minimize its footprint in Lubbock?
Lubbock County's population is about 317,000. Texas Tech has an enrollment of about 33,000. Now we have to fudge the numbers a whole bunch, but it becomes pretty evident that about 10% of the people in Lubbock during the school year are college students. Now, fudging the numbers a little more, that also means about one in ten people who do business in Lubbock or college students.
Now how many businesses in Lubbock do you think could survive with a 10% loss in business? Let's also assume my numbers are way off, and say, how many could deal with even a 3% loss of business? My guess is that a lot of businesses just couldn't handle losing even that small of a margin.
What would happen if there were even just 15,000 house or apartment rentals that did not happen? Who would work for the remaining businesses that rely on young talent? Our airport would certainly have to cut flights and so on.
In 2019 (these figures were used so you wouldn't click through a paywall) Tech took credit for 15,000 jobs and over a billion in economic impact. So to answer the opening question, if Texas Tech closed down the Lubbock campus, the Hub City could go ahead and quote the Tiger King, "I'm never going to financially recover from this". It would be dire, indeed.
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