The economics of life after Ichiro

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by ERIC WILKINSON / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 25, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 26 at 6:22 AM

Since Ichiro arrived in Seattle 12 years ago, Safeco Field has become a top destination for Asian tourists.

The number of Japanese tourists coming to Seattle spiked at about 80,000 a few years ago.
  
For many across Asia the main attraction was no. 51. Entire businesses have been built catering to Ichi-tourism.

One baseball player's performance has made Seattle a much more attractive market overseas. Japanese airline ANA expanded service to Seattle and used Boeing planes.

But it isn't just Asia. A father and son drove 17 hours from Saskatchewan to see one impact player join a powerhouse team.

Tourism officials say it's too soon to estimate the financial impact of Ichiro's defection to New York, but it looks like the Yankees win again:

Mariner's officials tell us the team will not lose out on Japanese TV revenue because that money is shared by all major league teams -- and the contract will  be transferred to New York.

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