Mar
25
2011

Further Bracket Breakdown: The Next Round of Host Cities

Last week Experian Marketing Services identified the week one men’s NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament host cities that most had had their heart in the game—as determined by area residents’ interest in college basketball and their likelihood to view the annual tournament—and those that were most likely in it just for the media attention. The top seeded host cities from that analysis were: Washington, D.C. (#1), Denver (#2) and Charlotte (#3). This week, as Sweet 16 and Elite 8 play gets underway, we’ll expand our scope to include the four cities hosting the Regional matches as well as Houston, home this year of the Final Four.

Do the host cities of these higher profile match-ups have a greater love for the game than the opening round hosts, or are some of them merely leveraging their time in the limelight to generate business for their town? We’ll soon find out, but first here’s a look back at the stats of the top-seeded teams from last week’s bracket where there was some pretty heavy viewership and interest.

Washington, D.C.: #1

  • Viewed NCAA Men’s Tournament: 17.5%
  • Very interested in men’s basketball: 10.5%
  • Any interest in men’s basketball: 28.5%

Denver: #2

  • Viewed NCAA Men’s Tournament: 16.2%
  • Very interested in men’s basketball: 9.7%
  • Any interest in men’s basketball: 27.5%

Charlotte: #3

  • Viewed NCAA Men’s Tournament: 15.7%
  • Very interested in men’s basketball: 10.2%
  • Any interest in men’s basketball: 25.1%

And now for our analysis of the next round host cities:

Anaheim

Anaheim, California, part of the greater Los Angeles Designated Market Area (DMA), is host to the West Regional, tipping off on March 24th at the Honda Center. Compared to all 14 cities that hosted the 2011 men’s tournament, Anaheim is the market with the least interest in college basketball and the least likely to actually watch the men’s tournament. Specifically, just 20.2% of the Anaheim market’s 12.7 million residents say they are interested in college basketball and just 12.1% watched the last men’s tournament. By comparison, 22.1% of Tucson residents, last week’s last place host city, said they were interested in college basketball and 13.3% said they watched the last tournament.

Scoreboard:

  • Viewed NCAA Men’s Tournament: 12.1%
  • Very interested in men’s basketball: 6.9%
  • Any interest in men’s basketball: 20.2%
  • Overall rank: #5 this round, 14th overall

San Antonio

The Alamodome hosts the Southwest Regional this year marking the 10th time the venue will hold an NCAA basketball event in the last 15 years. One would think that with such an impressive track record that San Antonians would be mad about college basketball, but not so. Only 12.7% of the area’s 1.7 million adult residents watched the last NCAA men’s tournament. That’s lower than any of the cities that hosted the first, second and third round games and just slightly better than Anaheim. Moreover, just 20.9% of residents say they have any interest in college basketball, a rate also lower than any of the host cities other than Anaheim.

Scoreboard:

  • Viewed NCAA Men’s Tournament: 12.7%
  • Very interested in men’s basketball: 7.4%
  • Any interest in men’s basketball: 20.9%
  • Overall rank: #4 this round, 13th overall

Newark

Newark, part of the New York City DMA, may be home of the NBA’s New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets, but college basketball barely registers for many of the area’s 15.9 million residents. In fact, just 13.4% of adults in the Newark market say they watched the last men’s tournament and just 22.4% said they are interested in college basketball. Those stats may put Newark ahead of San Antonio and Anaheim in this current round of play, but compared to the first, second and third round host cities, the host of the East Regional outscores just Tucson.

Scoreboard:

  • Viewed NCAA Men’s Tournament: 13.4%
  • Very interested in men’s basketball: 8.0%
  • Any interest in men’s basketball: 22.4%
  • Overall rank: #3 this round, #11 overall

Houston

The 2011 men’s tournament got underway in Dayton, where the First Four games were played to determine the four teams that would make it into the Big Dance. Interestingly, Houston, host of the Final Four, did not score not a single point better than Dayton when it came to area residents’ likelihood to watch the men’s tournament. Specifically, just 14.1% of Houston’s 4.3 million adult residents say they watched some or all of the last NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Area interest in the sport overall outscores only Newark, Anaheim, San Antonio and Tucson. Semifinals are held on April 2 and the Championship game on April 4th at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.

Scoreboard:

  • Viewed NCAA Men’s Tournament: 14.1%
  • Very interested in men’s basketball: 8.4%
  • Any interest in men’s basketball: 22.6%
  • Overall rank: #2 this round, #10 overall

New Orleans

New Orleans may be more recently associated in the sporting world with the Saints, victors of the 2010 Super Bowl, but it turns out the area has quite the penchant for college basketball. Among all 14 host cities, New Orleans is high scorer, with the exception of Washington, D.C., when it comes to likelihood of area residents to watch the men’s tournament. Fully 17.2% of the area’s 1.15 million adult residents say they watched the last tournament and 26.9% say they are interested in college basketball. New Orleans hosts the Southeast Regional, which tips off on March 24.

Scoreboard:

  • Viewed NCAA Men’s Tournament: 17.2%
  • Very interested in men’s basketball: 10.4%
  • Any interest in men’s basketball: 26.9%
  • Rank: #1 this round; #2 overall

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