Final Four makes an impact on the Atlanta economy - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Final Four makes an impact on the Atlanta economy

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Playing host to the Final Four means big business for Atlanta. The economic impact will be felt through money spent at hotels, restaurants and attractions.

"In Atlanta we say we do big events, this is what we do," Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said.

William Pate, CEO of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Atlanta is ready to show Final Four fans what the city has to offer.

"We're going to have a 100,000 people here in town. There's about $70 million of economic impact," Pate said.

Pate said that infusion will be felt across metro Atlanta, over the four-day event.

"Beyond people going to the events, they're going to be filling up our restaurants, our attractions, so it really is going to be something that's going to lift the entire community," Pate said.

Atlanta expects to play host to 100,000 people each day of the tournament, with a quarter of that being locals. Ten thousand hotel rooms are booked solid. To put it in perspective, "it'd be about twice the size of a typical Chic-Fil-A Bowl," Pate said.

Downtown attractions will be open, the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coke and more.

The NCAA selected Atlanta to host the 75th anniversary of the Final Four because of the unique downtown venue set up.

"There are very few cities in the country where you can bring all the venues together, World Congress Center, Georgia Dome, Phillips Arena and Centennial Olympic Park in a contiguous environment where you can bring everyone together for four days for purposes of celebrating a major sporting event," John Yates, Chairman of the Atlanta Basketball Host Committee, said.

Reed thinks Atlanta will showcase the city during the tournament.

"This is what we do. We're at our best when we host major large scale events and we're the center of activity in the south, we're the capital of the south," Reed said.

The games will be shown in 200 countries around the world.

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