I expect regional planners to send a bid to the NCAA today proposing to host one of the Division I men’s basketball Final Four tournaments between 2012 and 2016.
The competition is stiff: San Antonio, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Minneapolis are among the ten US cities hoping to land one of the tournaments. (And Indianapolis automatically gets one every five years.)
I would like to see St. Louis land another tournament. We hosted a basketball Final Four in 2005. That well-received week of events attracted more than 50,000 visitors who left behind $42 million in St. Louis, including almost $13 million spent in local hotels and restaurants, and $1 million spent in parking lots, garages, and meters. The St. Louis Sports Commission pegged the total economic impact on the region at nearly $72 million.
The partners preparing the City’s bid - the Missouri Valley Conference, Saint Louis University, the Convention & Visitors Commission, and the Sports Commission - have all worked together over the past week to iron out the last-minute glitches. Their proposal is a strong one.
Thank them for their effort, and cross your fingers.