It's all on the line at the Alamodome tonight. Its on the line for Villanova, its on the line for Michigan...and its on the line for San Antonio, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The Final Four is one of hte biggest events in the world, second only in the U.S. the Super Bowl, and a successful host of the Final Four can cash in for decades in its economic development and tourism activities.
"It brings in thousands and thousands of visitors to the city, to get them exposed to all the charm the city has," said Casandra Matej, president of Visit San Antonio, the city's tourism development organization.
She says a successful Final Four can result in future tourism growth for years to come.
"This shows the rest of the country, which also has big events, that we are among them, and we can do these type of events," she said.
Research has shown that the Final Four is bigger than other rotating big events like the political conventions, due to several factors, including the make up of the people who attend the games and watch them on TV, and the fact that sporting events are more likely to involve 'side deals' being made by corporate sponsors.
An estimated 500 corporate flights have brought executives to San Antonio for the Final Four, and, to make those expensive trips tax deductible, the executives have to do some sort of business activity. The Final Four and the Super Bowl have always been huge forums for those sort of deal making activities.
So far so good.
The Fan Fest, the Final Four Music Festival and other events, including the semi-final games on Saturday night, were very smooth, and Mother Nature has cooperated by providing near perfect weather, at a time when much of the northern half of the country is still mired in winter snows.
She said the Final Four is also a magnet for future large conventions and gatherings, which are major economic generators for the city.
"Not only does the Final Four introduce to many people and invite them to come to San Antonio in the future, but it also shows organizations that we are a major event destination," Matej said.
The broadcast of tonight's Final Four championship game starts at 5 here on 1200 WOAI.