Friday PM March 26th, 2010

There will be three winners at the end of the
NCAA men’s basketball South Regional at
Reliant Stadium this weekend.

Rod Rice reports that one of the three will
be the Houston economy.

money fallingThe games that begin tonight and end Sunday are expected to generate 38-million-dollars for area businesses. Greg Ortale, the head of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau says he gets that figure from the expected turnout and average daily spending that’s been verified.

“This one we shipped off to an economist out in California and validated that we in fact will receive that kind of money.”

He says that includes all spending except the cost of getting here.

And there are intangible benefits of having the city showcased during a national event.

“First of all you’re going to get those wonderful skyline shots of Houston and they’re going to be talking about Houston being the site of the 20-11 Final Four.”

Which he says in some ways is even bigger than a Super Bowl.

Another huge benefit is showing that Houston can pull off big events. Ortale says the 2008 South Regional went so well Houston got the 2016 Final Four before hosting next year’s games.