Texas A&M University not only placed College Station on the map, but it also played a $4.42 billion role in its economy in 2013, according to a new in-house study.
The university's Division of Finance and Administration conducted the annual study pegging the A&M System's economic impact on Bryan, College Station and the surrounding areas at almost twice as much as its impact a decade ago.
The study looked at the effects of money spent locally by employees, students and visitors to campus.
"We are proud to contribute to the economic vitality of the area, and we think the institutions based here have highly positive impacts in a host of other manners too," A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said. "In short, it's great to be able call this 'home' and we think -- certainly hope -- that feeling is mutual throughout the community."
Aggie football, the Southeastern Conference and Johnny Football's popularity played a large role in the almost $113 million increase since 2012, A&M senior financial analyst John O'Neill said.
While A&M's first season as part of the SEC saw increased attendance, 2013 welcomed 40,000 more attendees at football games.
According to the report, almost 74 percent of the 1.3 million people who visited the campus and spent about $385 million were there for a sporting event.
The Bryan-College Station Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates that visitors spend 2.5 days in the area and spend $103 per person per day. But those numbers are based on people attending events hosted by the Convention and Visitors Bureau, such as the Texas 7-on-7 tournament.
Shannon Overby, executive director of the CVB, said college football fans likely spend much more on food and hotels during home game weekends.
An A&M graduate from the class of 1991, Overby credits the university with drawing her to the area.
"I came here to go to A&M and never left," she said. "A lot of us who live in this community can say we would not be here if it weren't for A&M."
A lot of the increased economic impact in the past 10 years was driven by a boost in the number of employees and students enrolled at the university, O'Neill said.
In 2003, A&M had about 45,000 students, as opposed to the more than 52,000 enrolled on the 12th day of classes of the fall 2013 semester. Those students spent an estimated $494 million in the area on food, housing, clothing, school supplies and recreation, according to the report.
The 21,073 employees on the A&M payroll in Brazos County, which includes A&M System offices and state agencies in College Station, such as Texas Forest Service and Engineering Extension Service, spent $889 million last year.
For those doing the math, the estimated amount of money spent by students, visitors and employees was about $1.77 billion in 2013. Analysts multiplied that by 2.5, the number of times a dollar changes hands within the community, to get its final figure for the year. And that's a conservative estimate, O'Neill said.