We all see the affects of meetings, conventions, and especially big sporting events when they get in to town.  The fans…the players and coaches…and those funny people dressed up in crazy outfits screaming things that no one can understand.  If you are anything like me, you have to wonder… “what’s the benefit of it all???”

Well, the research is in for the 2008 NCAA Women’s Final Four that rolled through Tampa Bay in April of this year.  The Women’s Final Four brought in thousands of fans who stayed in our hotels, took Tampa Bay Tours, experienced Tampa Bay attractions, played on our golf courses and participated in all of the things to do in tampa bay.  

Well, the Championship, and all of the activities that went along with it, produced more than $19 MILLION in direct economic impact in Tampa Bay! 

Here are some stats (for those of you who are in to numbers):

  • There was $19,114,228 of direct, new spending in the Tampa Bay metropolitan statistical area.
  • The $19.1 million economic impact includes $16,655,769 in visitor spending; $2,399,936 in organizational spending; and $1,835,927 in taxes and charges (including hotel taxes, car rental taxes, sales tax, and airport passenger facility charges).
  • There were 22,595 visitors to the Tampa Bay area at the Women’s Final Four, the Time Out in Tampa event and Hoop City.
  • Of this total, 21,067 were considered “valid visitors,” when excluding those who switched a planned trip to the host city to coincide with the Women’s Final Four; and those visiting for other reasons.
  • Valid visitors stayed an average of 4.2 days and spent an average of $208 per day. Among fans attending the semifinal and championship games, 91 percent were from out of town. For Hoop City attendees, 87 percent were visitors and 13 percent were local residents. Of those attending the Time Out in Tampa, 88 percent were visitors and 12 percent were local.
  • 75 percent of attendees came from outside the state of Florida and 75 percent were female.
  • The average age of attendees was 46.1 years, and 74 percent of attendees had earned college or postgraduate degrees.

As far as things to do in Tampa Bay go, this one ranks at the top!  If you want to read the entire new release, log on to the VisitTampaBay website, or click here: http://www.visittampabay.com/articles/index.cfm?action=View&ArticleID=336

For those of you who were at the event, let us know what you thought!  Or, if you have a business that saw the benefit, drop a line!