Press Releases & Blogs

Final Four a Win for Houston

Houston • May 11, 2023

The 2023 NCAA Men’s Final Four brought thousands of visitors to Houston and generated millions for the local economy, according to a breakdown from the event’s local organizing committee.

More than 146,000 people attended the Final Four games held March 31 through April 3 at NRG Stadium. Other events were also big draws, including the NCAA Final Four Fan Fest at the George R. Brown Convention Center which drew more than 61,000 and the March Madness Music Festival at Discovery Green where more than 43,000 listened to sounds from the likes of hometown artist Megan Thee Stallion and Tim McGraw.

Though final economic impact figures are not yet available, the result is expected to exceed $270 million, according to Harris County Houston Sports Authority board chair J. Kent Friedman who spoke with the Houston Business Journal after the tournament.

One big winner was the hospitality industry. Hotels in the downtown area averaged just over 90% occupancy during the four-day tournament. Overall market revenue was up 29% over the last time Houston held a Final Four in 2016, while revenue across CBD properties was up more than 44%. Demand across the local hotel market was up an average of 23% over the four-day period compared with 2016.

Houston also garnered significant exposure during the tournament with 24.8 million tuning in for the semifinal broadcasts and 14.7 million for the championship game. There were a total of 6.2 million social engagements on March Madness related social media from April 1 – 4 alone.

The NCAA takes pride in the community engagement it leaves behind during the tournament. Read to the Final Four, a reading competition for local third-grade students, featured 68 schools, almost 7,000 students and more than 60 million minutes read this year, according to the host committee.