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The NCAA Men’s Final Four drew more than 300,000 visitors to downtown Phoenix, mayor says

Speaking at the Phoenix Convention Center Monday, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego touted the impact of the NCAA Men’s Final Four. According to Gallego, the tournament and surrounding events drew roughly 300,000 visitors to downtown Phoenix earlier this month.

Fan Fest and the March Madness Music Festival drew hundreds of thousands of people to downtown Phoenix over the four day period. The light rail, which offered free ridership over the weekend, saw an increased ridership rate and over 130,000 passengers.

Sky Harbor International Airport screened more than 360,000 passengers in that same time frame.

And more big basketball events are on the way; the Valley will host the WNBA All-Star Game this summer, the NCAA’s Women’s Final Four in 2026, and the NBA All-Star Game in 2027.

Kirsten Dorman is a field correspondent at KJZZ. Born and raised in New Jersey, Dorman fell in love with audio storytelling as a freshman at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2019.