Detroit Hopes for NCAA Boost

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2009 8:03 AM CDT
Detroit Hopes for NCAA Boost
An abandoned home is seen in the the modest residential neighborhood of Brightmoor in Detroit, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Downtown Detroit will be hopping this weekend, as hoops fans overrun the city for the Final Four. But outside the carousing along the city’s spruced-up main drag, things look as dire as ever, the Washington Post reports. One in five residents are unemployed, and abandoned homes and factories line the streets. Officials say the NCAA tournament could inject $30-$50 million into the city and, some hope, help rehabilitate its image.

The NCAA will also make a $250,000 gift to the local United Way, a token offering given the tournament’s enormous revenues. “If they really see a need, is that all they can come up with?” scoffed one retired auto worker. And many doubt the tournament will bring any long-term tourism boost. The CEO of Detroit's visitors bureau says he’ll be thrilled if viewers just come away thinking, “Detroit is not that bad.” (More Detroit stories.)

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