Economic impact of Final Four unable to make mark in Houston due to ticket prices, unpopular teams

Pooja Lodhia Image
Tuesday, April 4, 2023
NCAA Championship game: What does it mean for Houston?
College basketball's biggest stage comes to a close on Monday, but as for the result, it wasn't a slam dunk for the city financially as tickets totaled $45 before tip-off.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Final Four is coming to a close in the Bayou City, with the NCAA Championship game set to end college basketball's biggest stage.

Downtown Houston has been busy with fans, but for some, the Final Four weekend's economic impact wasn't the slam dunk they were hoping for.

SEE ALSO: Houston hosts NCAA men's championship game tonight after weekend of Final Four fun

For the first time in decades, Monday night's game features no first, second, or third-seed teams.

Not only were tickets still available as the doors opened to NRG Stadium, they only ran fans about $45.

That's 40% cheaper than they were on Friday and more than 1,000% cheaper than Taylor Swift tickets, according to StubHub.

"The lower seeds are in the field. It's definitely impacted the amount of people that are coming out. It's a different kind of crowd," UConn Huskies fan Joanna Green said. "People seem very hopeful, compared to sometimes when it's like, 'We got this in the bag.'"

RELATED: 'I love Houston': Fans give city glowing review as NCAA Final Four basketball tourney gets underway

Eyewitness News is still awaiting final attendance numbers from the Final Four Local Organizing Committee.

"I think it's good, not great," professor of economics at the University of Houston, Steven Craig, said. "These two teams don't have famous travel contingents. They both have ardent fans, but they don't have the same number as an ACC team."

He said if the University of Houston or the University of Texas had made it to the Final Four, bars and restaurants would likely be more crowded.

But the same can't be said for hotel and rental car companies.

"The economic impact of $100 million sounds like a lot of money, but it's not like anybody has a stack of $20 bills that high. It's spread over a lot of people," Craig said.

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