By now you’ve heard the news. Columbus shows up. That’s the bottom line. Better put, that affects the bottom line.

All told – Columbus projected to gain more than $9.4MM in direct visitor spend from hosting the first and second rounds men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments. For more on how that works, check out the bottom of this post. For the rest of the numbers from an eventful weekend in the 614, peep the stats below.


  • 58,694 tickets sold to the NCAA Men’s March Madness games, more than any other first and second-round site on the “Road to the Final Four,” including Denver, Orlando and Sacramento

  • Of the combined 25 cities that hosted the first and second rounds for the DI men’s or women’s basketball tournament, Columbus was the only city to host both. While sites for the opening rounds of Men’s March Madness are decided through an NCAA bid process, the women’s sites are determined by seeding. The Ohio State Women’s Basketball team brought more than 12,000 fans to the Jerome Schottenstein Center, advancing to the Sweet Sixteen thanks to some late-game heroics from Dublin native Jacy Sheldon


  • Nationwide Arena has hosted the first and second rounds of NCAA Men’s March Madness 6 times (2004, 2007, 2012, 2015 and 2019). Check out more of Columbus' basketball history


  • In 2022 alone, Columbus hosted portions of 5 NCAA championships in bowling, tennis, golf, lacrosse and basketball. Since 2018, Columbus has hosted portions of 26 NCAA championships – that includes the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship that set an attendance record at Nationwide Arena


  • Fairleigh Dickinson waited only 339 days before returning to Columbus for an NCAA championship run. The Knights’ women’s bowling team competed in the National Collegiate Bowling Championship last April. FDU’s return saw the men’s basketball team upset No. 1 Purdue – only the second time a 16-seed has accomplished such a feat.


  • 4,579 media clips mentioning NCAA Men’s March Madness and Columbus from March 16 – March 19, amounting to more than $40MM in projected ad value


  • Columbus realized an 80 percent increase in visitor spending from when the city hosted the opening rounds of NCAA Men’s March Madness in 2015


  • Confetti is in Columbus’ four-year forecast with the 2024 DIII Women’s Basketball Championship and 2027 Women’s Final Four on the horizon

To learn about what the Greater Columbus Sports Commission does, visit the About Us page