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NCAA will be big boost for Charlotte’s economy

The NCAA basketball tournament this weekend is expected to provide a big boost to local tourism just like it has in years past.

According to the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, the tournament will pump about $15 million into Charlotte’s economy as fans pour into the city and spend money at restaurants, bars and area retailers. The weekend could bring as many as 20,000 visitors to the city, the CRVA said.

Laura White, CRVA’s communications director, said the numbers are just projections, though, and as it’s done in years past, the group will conduct an economic impact report of the tournament after it’s over.

A CRVA study of the economic impact of the 2008 tournament in Charlotte showed that almost 13,000 people came to the city for the weekend. On average, visitors stayed four days and spent an average of $144 each day.

This year, hotels are about $10 to $40 more expensive per night, WCNC said. Tickets for early games are as high as $500 for premium seats.

The tournament kicks off in Charlotte with four games on Friday, including those of No. 2 Virginia and No. 1 Duke. Games will be played at the Time Warner Cable Arena, which is at 333 E. Trade St.

A full schedule of the weekend’s matchups can be found here.

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Twitter: @katieperalta

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