Local officials have their eyes on the NCAA. They’re trying to bring more big college championships to Orlando and Central Florida.
The Greater Orlando Sports Commission said they are ready to welcome thousands of student athletes, families and fans for NCAA Championship games. Which is why they are placing 68 bids to play host for golf, volleyball, soccer, softball, gymnastics, track, tennis, lacrosse and basketball.
“Hosting is in our DNA,” Jason Siegel, president of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission said. “It is not a surprise that as a community we can have a collaborative effort. We have over 30 venues to pull from.”
Greater Orlando has already hosted thousands of national and international sports and entertainments events with venues spread out over Lake, Seminole, Osceola and Orange counties.
“If it doesn’t involve snow, we can handle it,” Siegel said.
If the bids are selected, the championship games would take place between 2022 and 2026. Just in time for the construction on the I-4 Ultimate Project to be complete and the South Terminal expansion at the Orlando International Airport to be done.
“We promised these were the types of things we could bring and we’ve delivered,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.
Attracting these events requires paying incentives in the hundreds of thousands of dollars from the tourism tax.
Officials said it’s a small price to pay to create a giant return on investment for the local economy.
“In the case of basketball, it’s $137,500 in incentives with a potential economic impact of $16 million,” Siegel said. “So you’re gonna get a plus 100x return on your investment.”
“It’s almost recession proof when you go after these types of events,” Dyer said.
Officials said no matter the outcome of the game, people stay for the magic. The decision for all 68 national championship bids will be announced this October.