SAN ANTONIO – With the championship game of college basketball set for Monday night, the Final Four is drawing to a close, but San Antonio is already celebrating the huge economic impact from the games and big events downtown.
KSAT 12 News spoke with Richard Oliver, director of partner and community relations of Visit San Antonio, to help break down the Final Four numbers and expectations.
What does the economic impact look like so far?
"One hundred eighty five million dollars in direct spending for San Antonio alone, and when you talk about the total economic impact generated by jobs, $350 million plus just for San Antonio."
The last time San Antonio hosted the Final Four was 2008. How has the impact changed since then?
"A lot more attendance and more generation in that regard, and the peripheral events around it. The events around the Final Four have become an even bigger part of the whole weekend."
Oliver said Saturday was a perfect example of the secondary activities drawing in large crowds and bringing in more money.
"That concert alone had 25,000 more people than at the Alamodome -- 75,000 people. Seventy-five thousand people, plus people watching on the River Walk enjoying restaurants. You're talking more than 100,000. That's more than Fiesta in one day."
How much will the championship game Monday night alone generate for the city?
"There are going to be tens of millions of dollars of activity just in tonight alone. When you add it up, just the seismic impact of it -- tips, restaurants, Ubers -- it's like dropping a rock in the River Walk and watching the ripples go to the other side. That's what it's like for the economy of San Antonio."