By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia is scoring points again, hosting NCAA tournaments.
The Wells Fargo Center is hosting three sets of double-headers — two on Friday and one on Sunday — that will keep the hospitality industry busy (see related story).
“We’re probably looking at an economic impact of eight to ten million dollars,” says Larry Needle, executive director of the Philadelphia Sports Congress.
Needle says that amount includes filling the arena with 20,000 people at a time. About a quarter of them travel from afar, he says, enjoying Philadelphia hotels, restaurants, and attractions.
“The reality is that most of the tickets have been sold well in advance,” Needle points out. “Each of the participating schools receives about 500 tickets.”
The eight teams playing this weekend include Duke on Friday afternoon, followed by Georgetown in the Friday evening session. The winners play on Sunday.
Needle says the national exposure for Philadelphia is invaluable, including having the games on TV around the country, since Philadelphia is in the “Elite 8” sites in play this weekend.
The Wells Fargo Center was previously the site of the 2006 and 2009 NCAA first and second rounds, the 2001 East Regional, and the 2000 NCAA Women’s “Final Four.”