Local News

NCAA Tournament weekend generates $4.2M for Triangle economy

Posted April 23, 2014

Cheerleaders and the mascot of the Mercer Bears celebrate following their victory over the Duke Blue Devils during the second round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at PNC Arena on March 21, 2014 in Raleigh, NC. The Mercer Bears defeated the Duke Blue Devils 78-71. (Lance King/WRAL contributor)

— Second and third-round NCAA Tournament games held in Raleigh's PNC Arena helped generate more than $4 million, according to the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance.

About 17,000 people visited the Triangle during the first full weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

"As we expected, the 2014 NCAA Basketball Tournament proved to be a tremendous event for the Raleigh area on many levels," Scott Dupree, executive director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, said in a statement. "Not only did the tournament create $4.2 million in visitor spending, but it also generated an enormous amount of positive exposure and visibility for this region."

Total attendance for the three sessions at PNC Arena was 53,172. A zip-code study showed that 71 percent of ticket-buyers were from outside of the Triangle. Fifty-nine percent of ticket-buyers were from out of state.

Visiting fans accounted for more than 10,000 hotel room nights during the weekend.

A Smith Travel Research Report showed that hotel occupancy rates during the tourney weekend in Raleigh were 20.3 percent higher than the same weekend in 2013.

The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance is a division of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.


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  • Ron Coleman Apr 23, 2014
    user avatar

    How do they know this?

  • Jim Pomeranz Apr 23, 2014

    What about the players? Did they profit from it? Shouldn't the athletes get some of the money?

  • jmcdow2792 Apr 23, 2014

    Not to mention that the PNC hosts various entertainment business, or other events almost every weekend when the Hurricanes and Wolfpack aren't there.

  • archmaker Apr 23, 2014

    View quoted thread

    $158M - most of that provided by the hotel, motel, prepared food tax (a wake county tax charged to each hotel/motel bill and restaurant customer). $60M from the Hurricanes (who also provide the operating cost) and $18M from the state of North Carolina.

    Its also about "quality of life" not just ROI. Those who know the price of everything know the value of nothing.

  • Red Sox Nation Apr 23, 2014

    I AM NOT WHO YOU THINK I AM - Both. They are both great for the economy. If you were negatively impacted by the marathon you have no one to blame but yourself. Take some self accountability.

  • dwntwnboy2 Apr 23, 2014

    Was a fantastic event!! The folks I talked to at PNC who were in Raleigh for the first time couldn't say enough nice things about the area, the people and everything else. Was another great big event for the area. Hopefully we'll get more and more of these types of events, maybe even a second weekend of the NCAA tournament to come here.

  • A person Apr 23, 2014

    And it only cost the tax-payers of the area 5.8 million to get 8% of the 4.2 million back in tax revenue.

  • Toddler10-21 Apr 23, 2014

    Go Mercer!!!

  • John Ragan Apr 23, 2014
    user avatar

    the NCAA tourny generates 4.2 million and doesn't close off downtown or inconvenience anyone. The marathon comes to town generates only 2 million closes off downtown for most of the weekend, two people die and 10 go the hospital.

    Which would you rather have more of?

  • asjdiw Apr 23, 2014

    How much public money was used to build the arena or sweeten deals to move the team here? In short, what is the ROI on this arena?