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Study: Final Four Championship Brought In $324 Million For Arizona

Published: Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 4:58pm
Updated: Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 5:10pm

The numbers are in. And according to a new economic study, Arizona’s first NCAA Final Four basketball championship generated more than $324 million in economic impact for the state.

But in terms of money spent by visitors, the direct financial benefit is less, with the actual tax revenues just a fraction of that total.

Michael Mokwa with ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business helped conduct the study.

He acknowledges that the Final Four was held in the early spring, a time when Arizona already gets plenty of tourists. But he insists, "We are one of the few places that these things don't displace tourists. They just add to our tourism dollar."

The actual breakdown of spending includes over $121 million that the study says was spent directly by almost 60,000 out-of-town visitors, not counting their airfare.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says it’s not all about the money.

"We have more people coming to Arizona than we would otherwise in February and March, There's more to do for our citizens in February and March," he said. 

There were no immediate figures from Glendale, which hosted the event.

Mayor Jerry Weiers complained after the Super Bowl in 2015 that his city had to absorb unexpected costs. But he seemed more satisfied this time, calling the Final Four publicity for Glendale “pretty incredible.”