Verify: How does hosting the NCAA Tournament benefit Spokane economically?

SPOKANE, Wash. – The NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball tournament will return to Spokane in 2020, hosted by the University of Idaho.

The first and second rounds of the tournament will be held on March 19 and 21 at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was most recently held in Spokane in 2016, when the University of Idaho hosted the first and second rounds. Teams also made their way to Spokane in 2014, 2010, 2007 and 2003.

"It is a privilege to partner with the Spokane Arena as the host institution for 2020 and contribute to the economic impact of our region," said UI Director of Athletics Rob Spear. "What a great opportunity this is for the University of Idaho and our supporters." 

“Having this tournament here in Spokane is wonderful for the city. It gets the name out there, the spotlight is on Spokane, it gets people to come here and experience everything Spokane has to offer,” said Kate Hudson with Visit Spokane.  

There is no question that Spokane will be in the spotlight when the tournament comes to town, but exactly how much of an impact will it have on the city economically?

“Anytime there is an event like this, we always see an uptick in numbers. People are eating at restaurants, people are staying in our hotels, people are renting cars, they’re experiencing destinations, they’re shopping in our stores. So, anytime we have an event like this, it provides an economic boost to Spokane,” said Hudson.

KREM 2 wanted to verify the economic effect of the tournament on the city.

According to the Spokane Sports Commission:

• On average, 15,000 people visit Spokane during the tournament.

• $14.5 million is put back into the Spokane economy when the tournament comes to town. This number is generated from people that come from out of town and spend money on hotels, dining, rental cars and other travel costs.

• On average, the tournament generates 15 hours of national television coverage, which shines a spotlight on Spokane.

In conclusion, it is verified that bringing the NCAA Tournament to Spokane is helpful in boosting the local economy. 

Verify Sources:

Kate Hudson, Visit Spokane

Spokane Sports Commission

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