EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Broad Museum at Michigan State University just celebrated its 10th anniversary.
While a study predicted the museum to attract up to 150,000 visitors each year, it’s only seen less than half of that.
The study from Anderson Economic Group also showed that the museum would generate millions of dollars in revenue for the area each year.
But attendance numbers beckon the question as to if the museum had any real economic impact?
“That number was just in general, or an average of what visitorship can be,” said Christina Benton, the director of marketing and analysis for the Anderson Economic Group.
When the museum opened its doors in 2012, a study done by the group said that it would see between 125,000-150,000 visitors annually and that it would pump $5.75 million into the region.
“We were looking at the type of activities the museum was going to have, the size of the museum, we were looking at where the museum is located,” said Benton. “What would be the potential to draw people to the region.>
In 2013, The Broad saw the most visitors with 98,000.
Every year after 2014, it’s seen between 55,000-65,000 visitors.
For 2022 so far, the museum has seen around 31,000 visitors.
“There are various exhibits that draw in different groups of people, and we see this throughout the year,” said Benton. “It’s based on the programming that the museum puts on for the community and for its visitors.”
The museum’s interim director Steven Bridges says attendance is just one part of the bigger picture.
“When we think about impact and educational opportunities that this museum has offered and represents, those are really important to us,” said Bridges. “We have a healthy amount of return visitors but we also get a lot of first time, and that tells us that we are continuing to draw new interest and new people not only to the museum but also to this particular region.”
Before the pandemic, The Broad’s economic impact was more than $5 million.
So, how will the museum get more people through the door?
“Again, continued outreach to campus, connecting with students, connecting with faculty, and being a part of their educational experience at the university,” said Bridges.
Admission to the museum will stay free and open to all.