Four NCAA men’s basketball teams will face of Thursday in Indianapolis as a part of the NCAA tournament. The city could see an added economic boost because two of the teams are close to home.
Indianapolis has not hosted a men’s NCAA regional tournament in five years, so city officials say they are excited to host three games at Lucas Oil Stadium. Visit Indy spokesman Chris Gahl says the games provide a great tourism opportunity.
“We are expecting the NCAA men’s regional tournament to generate anywhere from $15 million to $17 million in economic impact and bring in more than 40,000 visitors,” Gahl says.
The teams playing in Indianapolis are Louisville University vs. the University of Oregon and Michigan State University versus Duke University. The winner of those two games will play each other.
Because two of those schools are in neighboring states, Gahl says they are expecting a large turnout. Gahl says while he would have liked to see the No. 1 ranked seed play in their home state, the city is not worried the loss will cause a huge difference in revenue.
“From our perspective, we’re very excited about these four teams and not havin IU here from a tourism perspective certainly doesn’t hurt us,” Gahl says. “I think it would have been an interesting dynamic to have a home team playing here like the Butler factor in 2010.”
The last time Indianapolis hosted an NCAA Tournament game was in 2010, when the RCA Dome served as the venue for the Final Four.