NCAA Impact Likely a 'Bump,' But Promotes Bigger Events

CHARLOTTE—Big crowds are expected uptown with the NCAA basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena later this week.

It's just the latest big sporting event to hit the Queen City, but the pay-out may not be all you’d expect.

Tickets will only be part of the pot for the economic boost to Charlotte.

Hotels are expected to be in short supply and restaurants full.

“We're expecting a lot of people from out of town to come here and support the NCAA tournament,” said Phil’s Tavern owner Jennifer Lloyd.

They’re looking for a decent bump, not unlike what they’ve seen for the Belk Bowl or the CIAA tournament.

“It gets bananas in here, crazy. Yeah, it's really fun,” Lloyd said.

Other businesses will also see a tick upward, but actual economic forecasts for these events are notoriously all over the board, with the real profits coming in typically lower than advertised, according to UNC Charlotte sports economist Craig Depken.

Though we do stand to have these events more often.

Depken says Charlotte is raising its profile as a second-tier location for events, but we need a larger population and more uptown hotel rooms to score a Super Bowl or the Olympics.

But in the meantime, the rewards are anybody's guess.

“From what we normally see I guess a normal Thursday, Friday, Saturday, probably four times-worth the business,” Lloyd said.

The first game Charlotte is hosting tips off Friday at 12:40 PM between Michigan State and Georgia.

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