Every Spring, the nation becomes obsessed with the NCAA basketball tournament. March Madness begins! Even the casual basketball fan fills out a bracket. For example, 80 million brackets are completed each year.
This 68-team basketball bonanza has been known to crown a Cinderella or two, produce at least one shining moment a year, and turn millions of Americans into gamblers. As a result, over $10 billion is estimated to be wagered on the 2023 NCAA Tournament with 52% placing a bet online. The average bet is $60.
It may be more economical to watch from your couch as the starting retail price for a ticket to one of the 2023 Final Four games costs around $175. During this time, around 19 percent more beer is sold to keep up with cheering fans.
There’s the potential for some workplace conflict, since distracted employees cost businesses about $16.3 billion per year. Moreover, the average worker spends about 6 hours watching hoops while on the job. 37% of Americans call in sick during the tournament to watch the play. 78% of people say that March Madness boosts workplace morale.
WalletHub analyzed March Madness from tip to title with a special emphasis on finance. Let’s take a look at March Madness by the numbers.
Top 10 March Madness Stats & Facts:
- $1.14 Billion: Annual revenue for the NCAA in 2022, more than double the amount earned in 2020 and topping pre-pandemic revenues ($1.12B).
- $10.2 Million: Salary for college basketball’s highest paid coach, Kansas’s Bill Self (vs. $710.7K combined for University of Kansas’s chancellor and the state’s governor).
- 47X: Difference between the average NBA rookie’s salary ($3.4M) and a D1 men’s athlete basketball scholarship for a year ($71.4K).
- $16.3 Billion: Corporate losses due to unproductive workers during March Madness.
- $300 Million+: Projected economic impact on Houston from March Madness 2023.
- $334.2 Million: Estimated value of the University of Kentucky basketball program— highest among all schools (generating a revenue of $22M).
- $170.3 Million: NCAA’s basketball fund’s 2023 distribution to D1 schools.
- $0: Amount of money the NCAA pays the players participating in the tournament.
- 72,220: NRG Stadium’s capacity for Final Four 2023 (full capacity).
- 12+: College basketball programs have been involved in a corruption case involving payments to players since 2017.
- 2.5k volunteers are needed to pull off the tournament.
- 14 cities will host the NCAA basketball tournament.
- $2.99 Million is the annual base salary for NCAA President Mark Emmert.
- 407 points is the tournament record by Duke’s Christain Laettner in 23 career games.
Odds of filling out a bracket perfectly are 1 in 9,200, 000,000,000,000,000. That 1 in 9.2 quintillion. Subsequently, you’re 2 times more likely to win the lottery back-to-back. In conclusion, 2008 was the only time all number 1 seeds made it to the final four. Good luck.
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