The NCAA Final Four: The Estimated Economic Impact And A Bill Of Goods

About that economic impact.



Just how much money is the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Men’s College Basketball Tournament’s Final Four Saturday and Monday matchup’s worth to Minneapolis? There economic impact on the area is estimated to be $142 million. But as New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli once pointed out, no one has ever bothered to really do a survey as to just what big sports events bring monetarily into an area. The numbers seem to be pulled out of a hat and no one really bothers to follow up after the event leaves town to see just how much money was left behind. Chances are government officials really don’t want to know because the big event is good for people. The NCAA, which does not pay the stars of the show the players, makes some high demands of hosting communities to make sure the governing body of college sports gets its pockets stuffed. The NCAA doesn’t pay for what it demands of host communities which means taxpayers are on the hook for venue additions the NCAA wants. In Minneapolis that figure may come out to more than $10 million for three games at the city’s domed football stadium.

The NCAA wanted blackout curtains in the arena. The reason?  So that the inside lighting is consistent for games and practices. The cost for the aesthetics? More than $5 million. Who pays? People not interested in the games and those who cannot get into the games. Local taxpayers.  Seats have to be installed by the court and there will be a scoreboard installed just for these games. The NCAA is not picking up any of the installation costs. The taxpayers will be billed. As far as that economic impact, unless hotels and motels and car rental agencies are owned locally, the money goes to a home office. The NCAA is not a group who likes to share money.


Billy Donovan