TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Sports Commission experienced an impressive 2007-2008 fiscal year. The Commission generated more than 100,000 visitor room nights and successfully hosted the NCAA Men’s Basketball First and Second Rounds and NCAA Women’s Final Four.
The Commission achieved its annual room night goals by balancing its efforts between hosting major marquee sporting events and amateur championships and tournaments. Concentrating its efforts on proven, viable markets and expanding upon client relationships keyed the Commission’s success.
In 2008, Tampa became just the third city in the history of the NCAA to host both the NCAA Men’s Basketball First and Second Rounds and the NCAA Women’s Final Four in the same year. The Commission partnered with the University of South Florida and Tampa Bay & Company to host the 2008 NCAA Men’s Basketball First and Second Rounds at the St. Pete Times Forum in March. Tampa earned national spotlight attention with a series of unforgettable upsets in front of thousands of fans from across the country. Two weeks later, Tampa welcomed the NCAA Women’s Final Four, marking the event’s first trip to the state of Florida. In conjunction with the Women’s Final Four, the WBCA (Women’s Basketball Coaches Association) Convention brought an influx of basketball coaches to the Tampa Convention Center. In hosting the Women’s Final Four, the Tampa Bay metropolitan area enjoyed sellout crowds of more than 22,000 for the semifinals and national championship and an overall direct economic impact of $19.1 million.
Over the course of the fiscal year, the Commission hosted a variety of amateur championships and tournaments that generated significant economic impact for Hillsborough County in markets such as soccer, basketball, cheerleading, volleyball, hockey and adult and youth softball. The combination of those championships coupled with the developments made in non-traditional sports markets such as rowing, equestrian and lacrosse have continued to diversify the Commission’s portfolio.