By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
April 5, 2013
The NCAA men’s basketball Final Four tips off this weekend at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Local officials expect 100,000 people to visit the city from out of town, staying in an estimated 10,000 hotel rooms and bringing $70 million in economic impact to the community.
An eclectic mix of teams is descending on Atlanta for a chance at the championship trophy. Two of the schools, Louisville and Syracuse, are the highest-revenue producing college basketball programs in the country. Louisville leads the way with $42 million in revenue last year, followed by Syracuse, which posted $26 million. Michigan, still more of a football school, generated $10 million last year from its basketball program. Finally, the real underdog in Atlanta is Wichita State. The Shockers last season generated $5 million in basketball revenue, paling in comparison to its Final Four counterparts.
As for the TV component of the Final Four, 30-second ads during the championship game are selling for $1.5 million. That’s nearly three-times the cost of an ad during the World Series, but still well off from the $3.8 million CBS pulled in spot during February’s Super Bowl.