April 14, 2008

CONTACT: Scott Dupree
(919) 645-2657

2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament 1st & 2nd Rounds in Raleigh Generates $5.1 Million in Direct Visitor Spending

Raleigh, N.C. - Attendance numbers and visitor spending figures provided a slam dunk for Wake County during the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament 1st & 2nd Rounds, held at the RBC Center March 21-23, 2008. The tournament brought an estimated 13,318 visitors to the Raleigh area which generated $5.1 million in direct visitor spending.

This economic impact information has been compiled by the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (GRCVB) using an economic impact model developed by Destination Marketing Association International and used nationwide; this model has been adjusted to reflect visitor spending only and does not include a multiplier or local spending. 

"As we expected, the 2008 NCAA Basketball Tournament proved to be a great event for the Raleigh area," said Scott Dupree, director of sports marketing of the GRCVB. "Not only did the tournament create more than $5.1 million in visitor spending but it also generated an enormous amount of positive media exposure and visibility for this market, for the RBC Center and N.C. State University as the host organization." 

Collectively all 19,477 seats for each of the three tournament sessions (six games) at the RBC Center were sold out with 51% of tickets (9,856) sold to out-of-state zip codes and 66%  of tickets (12,822) sold to out-of-triangle zip codes. These fans accounted for 12,650 total hotel room nights at area hotels. 

"The NCAA Tournament energized the community. When you welcome 13,000 basketball fans to your city the impact is undeniable. You could feel it in hotels, the restaurants, the shopping malls and of course the local sports bars," said Dupree. "All in all, the NCAA Tournament proved once again why it is one of the nation's marquee sporting events and why it's an absolutely perfect fit for Raleigh. We will certainly support N.C. State's effort to bring it back as soon as possible, hopefully in 2011 or 2012."

In addition to notoriety gained by hosting the NCAA Men's Basketball 1st and 2nd Rounds, having this caliber of tournament exposes the Raleigh area to many other potential sports championships, events and meetings, representing millions more in visitor spending.

GRCVB Sports Marketing works closely with a multitude of local partners, including professional sports franchises, colleges and universities, parks and recreation departments, and dozens of venues, facilities and area sports organizations. Over the last five years, GRCVB sports marketing has assisted in bringing more than 250 events to the Raleigh area, with a combined economic impact of more than $130 million.