Greensboro has sometimes taken on the name “Tournament Town” in March due to the men’s and women’s Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Tournaments as well as NCAA tournament games in some years.
In 2023, the Greensboro Coliseum hosted both the men’s and women’s tournaments, as well as first and second round games in the NCAA tournament – and, according to Guilford County Commissioner Frankie Jones, those and other sports competitions held early this year have been very good for the local economy.
Jones, who serves as the county’s representative to the Greensboro Sports Foundation, spoke on the economic impact of the games at the Guilford County Board of Commissioners first May meeting – which Jones rushed to immediately after leaving a Greensboro Sports Foundation meeting.
During reports to the Board of Commissioners, Jones said the sports action in early 2023 made a big difference.
“The Greensboro Sports Foundation ran through a number of the activities that were hosted in March and April and highlighted the economic impact of those events, which in the aggregate were right around $40 million,” Jones told the board. “That’s between the various ACC events and the NCAA, and some of the aquatic events as well.”
The big economic boost, of course, comes largely from out-of-town visitors who flock to Guilford County to cheer on their college teams or from parents who come to watch their child compete in swimming competitions. Those visitors get hotel rooms, dine out, drink at sports bars and shop – generating profits for local businesses and, for the county, hotel tax and sales tax revenue.
While this was a jam-packed sports March and April for Greensboro, it was something of a last hurrah for the city, at least for a while. The men’s ACC Basketball Tournament – which used to have a home at the Greensboro Coliseum – now gets passed around from big city to big city most years, and, with the Atlantic Coast Conference’s move of its headquarters from Greensboro to Charlotte, the future sites of the women’s tournament after next year are unclear.