An Economic Impact of March Madness Off the Court

Known for its on-court antics and drama, March Madness provides an impact all over the USA. From sponsorships to ticket sales, the madness extends from inside the arena and can impact the economy massively.

With each year brings more revenue, sponsorship, and excitement. March Madness 2023 looks set to be one of the biggest covered tournaments to date, and we could see a record-breaking year.

Sports Betting

According to the American Gaming Association, over 17% of American adults placed a bet on March Madness during the 2022 tournament. This equates to roughly 45 million people, and a total handle of $3.1 billion was bet on the NCAA tournament.

The state of Illinois, featuring some of the best teams in March Madness, had only offered legal sports betting for two years before the 2022 tournament. However, according to state revenue figures, this didn’t stop Illinoisians from wagering $286.2 million worth of bets on the tournament.

Illinois Gaming Board reports $278.4 million was wagered on games over about two and a half weeks in the men’s NCAA basketball tournament, along with $7.8 million on games in the women’s tournament.

It’s expected that the 2023 NCAA tournament will be the largest bet March Madness to date, with more legal online sports betting states than ever before. In 2022, over $8.1 billion of college basketball bets were placed, the same number as the whole NFL regular season.

Moreover, it’s thought that March Madness betting will continue to grow in the years to come as more states legalize online sports betting.

Television and Advertising Revenue

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament is one of the most-watched sporting events in the United States, with millions of viewers tuning in to watch games on television. With entertaining non-stop, high-quality action for three weeks, it’s no surprise to see why.

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In 2022, 10.7 million viewers in the USA alone tuned into the action, which was a 13% increase from the 2021 tournament. However, what is the financial impact of this change?

The NCAA holds long-term TV deals with both CBS and Turner Sports, which sees the organization receive up to $19.6 billion over a 22-year period. These payments, in turn, escalate each year, with $870 million in TV revenue made in 2022.

Given the crazy viewing figures, it’s unsurprising to see TV networks pay so much to broadcast March Madness. In addition, this generates significant revenue for broadcasters and advertisers, who pay large sums of money for the rights to broadcast and advertise during the tournament.

Hospitality and Ticketing

The tournament attracts thousands of fans from all over the country who travel to attend games, which generates significant revenue for the tourism and hospitality industries.

Fans spend money on hotels, restaurants, and other local businesses, which can positively impact the local economy.

In March Madness 2022, Milwaukee hosted two rounds of the tournament, and according to the VISIT Milwaukee tourism department, it had a $6.5 million impact on the area. Over 5,000 hotel rooms were booked, and this was just for a first-round March Madness game.

For the Final Four, it’s common to see tickets being resold for tens of thousands of dollars; interesting to mention that prices are similarto the Super Bowl. For last year’s epic Final Four matchup between Duke and North Carolina, ticketswere going for $18,510 each. Even those seats at the back of the arena were reaching prices of $1,000, a crazy price to pay for the nosebleeds and a monumental price for college sports.

Mushfiq is obsessed with Golf. From his passion for Golf to becoming a lead writer in the golf category, his journey was quite awesome. Mushfiq covers all the Golf events and net worth information of players in Surprise Sports.


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