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Visit Wichita Says NCAA Tournament Was A Big Win For Wichita Economy

City tourism officials say last March's NCAA Tournament games in Wichita boosted the local economy.

The 2018 NCAA Tournament at Intrust Bank Arena is being hailed by Visit Wichita as a "huge win" for the local economy.

Out-of-town visitors generated an estimated $5.5 million in economic activity, while local residents spent an additional $3.5 million during the four-day basketball tournament, according to the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University. The result was about $500,000 in additional tax revenue for the city.

Tickets for the tournament sold out, aided by the appearance of the University of Kansas Jayhawks.

“In addition to the economic impact brought to Wichita, the community received national television exposure and priceless media recognition, which showcased Wichita in a positive light on a national stage,” Susie Santo, president and CEO of Visit Wichita, said in a news release.

Wichita will host first- and second-round games of the men’s tournament again in 2021, along with two rounds of the women’s tournament the following year.

“We look forward to hosting more NCAA tournament games in the future, and welcoming even more sports fans from across the country into the city,” Santo said in the news release.

Ray Strunk is an intern in the KMUW News Lab.