The Final Four in Atlanta an Economic Boon? Maybe Not

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    There will be nearly 100,000 out-of-town visitors to Atlanta this week partaking in basketball and music events. An economic impact of $70 million is expected to hit the city, but what about the surrounding neighborhoods?

    With the Final Four of the NCAA basketball tournament kicking off this weekend at the Georgia Dome, it has been questioned if local communities benefit from the expected economic surplus the event brings to the city. According to Professors Robert A. Baade and Victor A. Matheson of the College of the Holy Cross, there is none.

    From 1970 to 1999, Baade and Matheson discovered that the average economic impact of a city hosting the Final Four was negative.

    Cities expect money spent by patrons to outnumber the money spent in the production of such an occasion. Big events such as the Final Four attract out of town fans, but veer away local fans who seek to avoid crowds
    Baade and Matheson have also analyzed the exact same occurrence with cities that host the Summer Olympics.

    Atlanta may receive millions in new economic activity from the Final Four, but the two professors say the overall net gain will be low to none.

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