The Final Four in Indianapolis last March was estimated to have a $40m economic impact on the city of Indianapolis (yawn).
Here's the press release associated with the study, done by Lawrence Davidson and Bruce Jaffee of the Indiana University School of Business. The interesting part is that Davidson and Jaffee only attempt to measure the direct expenditures of the estimated 44,000 visitors - they don'use a multiplier, so the estimate is described as "conservative." Fair enough.
There's one more interesting note in the press release. When the Final Four returns in 2010, the venue will shift from the RCA Dome, with a capacity of 43,800, to the new Lucas Oil Stadium "which has been designed to hold as many as 70,000 fans for the Men's Final Four." 70,000? Ugh - doesn't 43,800 overdo it already? I don't know about you, but I don't like watching basketball with binoculars. I tried it at the Kingdome many years ago for a Sonics game. I remember the experience vividly, because it was so awful. But at least it was cheap. I can't imagine buying such a ticket at a premium price.