Sports Tourism Heating Up Tourism Market In Tampa Bay

NCAA Final FourTAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Sports tourism is big business, especially in Florida.

Tampa is hosting its second NCAA Women’s Final Four this weekend. A third is coming in 2019. The two basketball tournaments highlight a remarkable run: Tampa will host an NCAA championship for five straight years.

The Tampa Bay Times reports sports tourism — whether it’s hosting Super Bowls or Final Fours or youth tournaments — is big business. Amateur sports drove 20 percent of the 760,400 room nights booked in Hillsborough County last year — and that doesn’t include the pro teams.

An NCAA report estimated that the 2008 Women’s Final Four generated a $19.1 million economic impact for the Tampa area and sold 16,300 hotel room nights.