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  1. Sports

Report: Lightning, NCAA, Tampa lose millions in March

A ticket-sales search engine also projects the Lightning’s postponed home games in March to cost more than $17 million.
March Madness is always big business, and Tampa missed out on major money when the tournament was canceled this year. [JOHN RAOUX | ASSOCIATED PRESS]

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The cancellation of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament due to the coronavirus scare cost the NCAA nearly $12 million in ticket revenue at Amalie Arena alone, a national ticket search engine estimates.

The same site projects the Lightning’s seven postponed home contests in March to cost more than $17.6 million in ticket sales.

TicketiQ.com, which offered similar estimates for all NHL and NBA franchises, based its approximations on secondary market value, number of seats in a given arena, and number of contests canceled or postponed.

Related: NCAA to grant extra year for athletes in spring sports

Amalie Arena was among eight first- and second-round host sites for the NCAA Tournament, which was set to begin with the “First Four” on Tuesday. The NCAA canceled its signature spring event, globally known as March Madness, last Thursday.

The average secondary market value for a ticket to NCAA tourney action at Amalie was $191, according to the site. With a capacity of 20,500 and three total sessions, estimated loss of ticket revenue was $11,746,500.

While the NCAA retains all ticket revenue from the tournament, Tampa clearly loses the tourism revenue that would’ve been generated from hotels, restaurants, etc.

The site determined average secondary market value for a Lightning home ticket was $132. With seven postponed home contests in March and a capacity of 19,092 for hockey, estimated loss of ticket revenue for the franchise was $17,641,008.

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