MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - An analytics firm estimates the 2019 NCAA Final Four in Minneapolis attracted 91,000 visitors and an economic impact of $143 million in April.
The study also estimated that more than 400,000 people visited the Final Four games, Fan Fest, Final Four Friday and the Nicollet Mall events.
The 2019 Minneapolis Local Organizing Committee, which formally closes at the end of this week, announced the results of the study conducted by Pennsylvania-based Rockport Analytics, which also examined the economic impact of the 2018 Super Bowl.
In comparison, Super Bowl LII brought in more than $370 million in new spending to Minnesota and 125,000 visitors.
The firm talked with more than 700 attendees in and around U.S. Bank Stadium, on Nicollet, at the Minneapolis Convention Center and around other locations to assess the economic impact. It tracked spending from individuals, sponsors, broadcast partners and event organizations to see how the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Bloomington economies were affected.
“The Men’s Final Four proved to be a seminal event that brought significant new monies into the regional economy, lifted Twin Cities tourism, and exposed the benefits of the city and state to future business and leisure visitors,” said Kenneth McGill, managing director of Rockport Analytics.
Minneapolis businesses like Surly Brewing Company also reported an influx of business during the Final Four festivities.
“The Final Four was such a tremendous experience for our downtown and local business owners as we welcomed hoops fans nationally and internationally into our city,” said Steve Cramer, president & CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council. “Our businesses were packed, the atmosphere in our downtown streets was fantastic, and we once again showcased that Minneapolis can play host to the biggest events on the world’s stage.”
Kate Mortenson, the president and CEO of the MLOC, announced that her office would officially close at week's end. She released the following statement:
2019 Final Four was a fantastic opportunity for our City and region to welcome fans from near and far to experience what is special about Minnesota. Hosting this iconic sports event brought with it many ways to celebrate the culmination of March Madness with free and low-cost events that were available to everybody. The games were absolutely thrilling, and we were delighted that so many Minnesotans joined 91,000 visitors in accepting our inclusive invitation to come downtown and be part of the fun.