PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 17: Head coach Jim Boeheim of the Syracuse Orange looks on as he coaches against the Kansas State Wildcats during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Consol Energy Center on March 17, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
The city of Boston and the TD Garden are set to host this weekend's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional for the first time since 2009. Given the strength of the Sweet 16 matchups -- Syracuse vs. Wisconsin and Ohio State vs. Cincinnati -- tourist experts estimate that the city could score as much as $22 million in economic spending this weekend.
"We ended up with some really good teams. They will draw people from around this region," said Patrick Moscaritolo, president of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We have a New York team and we have a team like Ohio State that travels really well. We'll be seeing lots of fans from those schools."
"When you have a big event like this you immediately begin to see what big business sports are - and college sports in particular simply because of the combination of the student body and the alumni, who have a little bit more disposable income than the students," Moscaritolo said.
Boston last hosted an NCAA regional in 2009, where Duke, Pittsburgh, Villanova and Xavier reached the Sweet 16. The city made an estimated $7 million three years ago. Boston has also hosted the 1999 and 2003 NCAA First and Second Rounds.
The city is receiving said economic boost with the help of Boston College, who is hosting this year's regional. So how about a kickback? After pumping an extra $22 million into the city's economy, I'd say that's good for an extra hour of two of tailgating, no?