So many people fill out the brackets for March Madness. It heightens the fun of the tournament. There are some great players, who will be future pros to watch like Ethan Thompson (Oregon St) or Jason Preston (Ohio), Aaron Henry (Michigan St), or Neemias Queta (Utah State), and finally, Buddy Boeheim (Syracuse) to name a few. These cities have a story to tell, and that’s what this article is going to do.
I spoke to Wallet Hub financial analyst, Jill Gonzalez about a few choice cities that could win it all. This report isn’t just about winning it includes fan engagement and many other factors including teams per city.
Michigan -East Lansing (Michigan State) and Ann Arbor – “With Michigan, college basketball fan engagement they do better than most schools. Having a great performance this year. Michigan State outperformed Michigan when it came to fans. They’ve only had one coach for the past ten seasons, and that really shows in the tournament.”
Ohio – Columbus – “I’m a big fan. I went to Ohio State. It’s been a weird year. I’ve been saying for a lot of things I do if I start to go somewhere and forget why I was there. Forget why I went upstairs; I say I really Buckeye’d it. That’s kind of been their game this year. They dropped the ball. The BIG 10 Tournament may have woken them up. This may give them a spark heading into March Madness.”
Oregon – Portland – “I don’t think anybody thinks about Oregon when they think about March Madness specifically. They’ve been doing good things on the pro side, so people want to see more basketball in general.”
New York – Syracuse – “This is a bigger year for Syracuse. A lot of people are excited. Especially when you have a school that has so much tradition around basketball and to see it come back this year. The history and championships bode better than most other cities in New York.”
Utah – Salt Lake City – “It did well. It ranked 27th. In the top 10%. It has a lot of things going for it this year. It’s getting a bit of traction for basketball. A long-time coach, fan engagement. I think bringing more people to the city from outside is a key. It’s become a bit of a tech city.”
Viewership could be up, and Gonzalez explains why.
“I think we will see some records broken this year. Typically, we’re used to sneaking in and watching the games at the office, hitting the boss button whenever a manager walks around. A lot of us are viewing from home, so there’s no need to hide how much you’re viewing the games,” Gonzalez stated. “That will have an impact. Not as many people will be gathering at bars.”
Then Gonzalez dropped this number on me, “Typically, we see corporate losses over the March Madness period that total over 13 billion dollars! I think that number will also set a record.”
Gonzalez also mentioned the women’s tournament, “UConn and how Storrs does on this list year to year. Their women’s team is powerful enough to get them into the top five for all teams every year. This year they are #5.”
As a bonus, here are Jill’s Top Three Food Cities with games going on:
- Philly – “If the teams aren’t good, you can find something good to eat.”
- Upstate NY – “They have Spiedies in Binghamton and Syracuse. I would do that. If they had March Madness in July, I’d maybe go to Syracuse.”
- North Carolina – “I do like the NC barbeque because of the vinegar. Whenever you go to Duke or NC game, my preference is NC, you do feel like you’re a part of history in the smaller arenas.”
Jill was adamant about Midwest food, “I said nowhere in the Midwest.”
More March Madness Stats & Facts From Wallet Hub
- 1st: Time a single state will host the tournament in its entirety (after being canceled for the first time in 2020).
- $600M: Annual revenue loss for the NCAA in 2020 due to COVID-19.
- $8.2 Million: Salary for college basketball’s highest-paid coach, Kentucky’s John Calipari (vs. $1M combined for University of Kentucky’s president and the state’s governor).
- 45.5X: Difference between the average NBA rookie’s salary ($3.3M) and a D1 men’s athlete basketball scholarship for a year ($71.4K).
There are a lot of ways to look at March Madness, and this is an interesting one. Here’s a link to Wallet Hub’s complete list: