DENVER (CBS4) – Tens of thousands of people converged on downtown Denver Sunday evening for the NCAA Women’s Final Four.
The event was sold out. The tournament is a huge economic boost for Denver.
The estimate is that about $20 million will be pumped into the local economy, but the marketing that Denver’s received over the past several months is invaluable.
Several thousand young basketball fans dribbled their way from Civic Center Park to the Colorado Convention Center where Tourney Town was alive and happening. There were long lines to get autographs from some of the best female basketball players in the world. The lines were also long to spend money in Tourney Town, which featured its own gift shop stocked with gear for fans.
“This is an exciting time and the whole city and everybody who comes together. It’s just a fantastic, fun party,” Ohio visitor Margie Miller said.
The money generated in the tiny town pales in comparison to the money expected to be spent in downtown.
“The women’s Final Four is sold out for the first time I think in its history,” Denver Sports Interim President Sue Baldwin said. “Most of that economic impact comes from visitors coming in and spending money on hotels and restaurants and bars and transportation.”
Hosting a sporting event has put Denver on a map that will likely ensure organizers of other major, future events will shoot for Denver when comes to picking a city to host them.