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Indy Cashing In On Hoops This Weekend

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Last night the Pacers kicked off a long weekend of hoops in downtown Indy this weekend. With more than 17,000 at the Fieldhouse it was a great crowd considering the Pacers are staggering to the end of the season.

No doubt some of those in attendance were here for tonight's NCAA regional games at Lucas Oil Stadium. With Louisville, Kansas, Arizona and Michigan State playing tonight, downtown should be hopping all night. All of those school boast a great fan base and three are close enough to make a relatively easy trip.

On Saturday, the high school boys crown four champions and all of the teams are from outside the Indianapolis area, again, bringing more folks than usual for the event.

Anthony Schoettle breaks down the economic impact of the big weekend and sees a promising weekend considering the economic climate.

Granted, some of the people buying tickets will be hoops fans from central Indiana. But most will be out-of-towners. If you figure conservatively that each person traveling to Indy will spend $300 here, direct visitor spending of $9 million for the NCAA games is within reasonable reach.

Lots of folks like to talk about economic impact. That number is figured based on multiples of visitor spending. Economic impact takes into account, for instance, that a hotel worker who works more hours and gets more tips will spend money at area stores and restaurants, etc. and so on. So if you like an economic impact figure for this weekend of basketball, I’m predicting a number near $30 million. Either way you slice it, it’s not bad for a medium-sized Midwest market in a sickened economy.

Now if they can just break even on the operating expenses for Lucas Oil Stadium it will be a huge success.