Saturday, August 30, 2008

Final Four a financial boon for Tampa

This is an Associated Press story from two days ago:

INDIANAPOLIS -- An NCAA study found this year's Women's Final Four produced more than $19.1 million in economic benefits to the Tampa metropolitan area.

According to the survey, more than 21,000 people visited the host city in April because of the tournament. During the average stay, 4.2 days, visitors spent $16,655,769 and another $1.8 million in taxes and other charges. Local organizations spent nearly $2.4 million, for a total of $19,114,228.

Spending figures from the city's local organizing committee were not included in the tally. Ticket sales and spending by local residents also were excluded.

The study surveyed fans who attended NCAA tournament games, an outdoor festival and Hoop City, the indoor, interactive basketball experience that is now a prominent attraction at the men's and women's tournaments.

"The Women's Final Four has once again shown it is a proven winner on and off the court," said Sue Donohoe, NCAA vice president of Division I women's basketball. "Our corporate champions and corporate partners enjoy the strong outreach provided by our championship, and our loyal fans continue to support our game."

The survey found 91 percent of the fans who attended games and 87 percent of those who went to Hoop City were from out of town.

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