March 21, 2018
Media Contact: David O’Donnell 617-867-8214

The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) estimates that the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament East Regional will inject $25,788,275 of new spending into the Boston area economy between Wednesday, March 21 and Monday, March 26.  TD Garden will host the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games for the first time since 2012, and this year’s bracket will feature Villanova, Texas Tech, Purdue and West Virginia.  Boston College serves as the host institution.  General public sales are sold out, but tickets may still be purchased through The NCAA Experience and NCAA Ticket Exchange.

Sweet 16 games will occur on Friday, March 23, with the Elite 8 contests taking place on Sunday, March 25.  According the Bureau’s forecast, the direct spending impact on paid lodging, dining, entertainment and retail over the five days will be approximately $14,247,666.  Indirect spending, which calculates how spectators’ dollars ripple out across other industries to benefit employees, vendors, business owners and distributors, will be over $11M.  The GBCVB’s spending estimates do not include money spent on tickets to the games at TD Garden.

The GBCVB estimates that between 8,000-10,000 visitors will travel to Boston from 50 miles or more for the East Regional.  Villanova fans, in particular, will be able to take advantage of seamless transportation options between Boston and Philadelphia, such as AMTRAK and convenient air service schedules, which could push the overall number of visitors over 10,000.  These visitors are comprised of approximately 54% leisure travelers – students and university-related fans, families, team followers – and approximately 46% business travelers, including alumni, print and broadcast media, NCAA corporate sponsors, NCAA marketing partners, and NCAA officials.  The East Regional game schedule will afford all visitors an opportunity to explore Boston’s diverse neighborhoods and enjoy the city’s rich cultural, culinary, retail and entertainment offerings, particularly on Saturday, March 24 when no games are being played.

“After the madness of March’s winter storms, our visitor industry is looking forward to this weekend’s March Madness and the spending impact that accompanies the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games,” said GBCVB President and CEO Pat Moscaritolo.  “We are excited to see teams and their fans from across the country coming to Boston for the East Regional,” he added. 

There are six high-end Boston hotels that have been booked by the NCAA for the East Regional.  At a minimum, 13,500 room nights will be generated at the six official hotels and by fans who book their hotels directly or opt for alternative paid lodging options including Airbnb units.  Direct spending on lodging alone will exceed $4M, followed closely by food and beverage spending as visitors dine at restaurants, sports bars and clubs across the city, from the North End to the Back Bay to the Seaport and everywhere in between. NCAA fans will enjoy the added benefit of being in Boston during Dine Out Boston, the biannual restaurant week promotion that allows diners to choose from almost 200 local restaurants offering discounted lunch and dinner menus.

The East Regional returns to Boston thanks to the joint effort and great partnership between TD Garden, Boston College, and the GBCVB.  “It’s an honor to be selected as host, and we’re thrilled to have the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball East Regional back at TD Garden this year,” said Amy Latimer, president of TD Garden.  “This is one of the most exciting sport tournaments, and we are proud to provide the opportunity for these student athletes, their fans and the City of Boston to make lifelong buzzer-beater memories beneath TD Garden’s storied rafters,” Latimer added. Martin Jarmond, William V. Campbell Director of Athletics at Boston College, echoed Latimer’s sentiment.  “From all of us at Boston College, we are thrilled to serve as the host institution again and welcome everyone to our great city for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball East Regional,” said Jarmond. “TD Garden is a first-class facility and we look forward to host these great student-athletes, coaches and fans as they continue their quest for one shining moment.”

According to Moscaritolo, “the NCAA games represent an early arrival of spring for Boston’s visitor economy. Our tourism season typically heats up as the Marathon approaches and by May we are in full swing with college graduations, baseball games and major conferences.  This year we get a much needed boost with March Madness bringing in thousands of visitors and millions in new visitor spending in the final week of Q1.”