As tourism officials calculate the economic impact of March Madness, they say there are signs of additional, longer term benefits from hosting the tournament. Over the past several weeks, Visit Indy hosted approximately 40 meeting and event planners from around the country to see first-hand how the city puts on big events. “One of the meeting planners, it was between Orlando and Indy, and this was enough to tip them for a faith-based convention for 2026, so seeing is believing,” said Visit Indy Senior Vice President Chris Gahl, who is optimistic additional business will follow.
Gahl talked about the economic impact of March Madness on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
In January, tourism officials projected a $100 million economic impact from hosting the entirety of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, but that was based on no fans being allowed to attend games.
In February the NCAA announced that venues in Indianapolis, Bloomington and West Lafayette would be allowed to welcome fans up to 25% of capacity, a move expected to significantly increase the tournament’s economic impact.