Final Four not likely a big money maker for Georgia Dome

by: Jim Strickland Updated:


ATLANTA - Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland discovered the NCAA paid no rent, yet kept all of the ticket revenue from this past weekend's Final Four basketball event at the Georgia Dome.

The state agency that runs the Georgia Dome earned concession and parking revenue, most of which will be eaten up by event costs.

"It isn't about making huge sums of money, and if you take into account all the infrastructure and the cost of building and maintaining a facility so we can host these events, you're not even clearing that much money," said Kennesaw State University sports economist J.C. Bradbury.

Officials at the Georgia World Congress Center Authority said the last Final Four in 2007 netted the Dome only $750,000.

Organizers said the economic impact across the metro area worth breaking even at the venue.

"I think $70 million in economic impact for the city is a good deal for everyone involved," said Local Organizing Committee Executive Director Sharon Goldmacher.

The $70 million figure was a prediction. Goldmacher said a study is already under way to figure the actual impact.

"They're going to be awarding between 2016 and 2020. That's obviously a very competitive process but we're going to compete and we'll compete with a new stadium," Mayor Kasim Reed said of Atlanta's plans to bid for another Final Four.

Strickland found in the lease that the NCAA requires a host venue to be running for two years before getting the Final Four.

The new stadium won't be ready until summer 2017, meaning a Final Four may not happen there until 2020 at the earliest.