Could Arizona Wildcats run to Final Four hurt Valley economy?

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Principal Sharon Boomer is a big Arizona Wildcats fan. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Principal Sharon Boomer is a big Arizona Wildcats fan. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton doesn't believe U of A being in the Final Four would hurt tourism. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton doesn't believe U of A being in the Final Four would hurt tourism. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Boomer believes the Wildcats have a big enough fan base to be a tourism boost for the Valley. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Boomer believes the Wildcats have a big enough fan base to be a tourism boost for the Valley. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Spectrum Elementary School principal Sharon Boomer is a huge Arizona Wildcats fan, who's pretty excited about the possibility her Wildcats could make it to the Final Four, which will be played in Glendale.

"Nothing like going to a U of A game," said Boomer. "I'm not jinxing it yet, and I haven't bought tickets, but as soon as they win that second game I will have my ticket money in."

But could the Wildcats' win actually be a loss for the Valley's economy?

There are some concern in the business community that if U of A makes the Final Four, many of their fans will simply drive to the games, resulting in fewer hotel bookings, not as many rental cars and a smaller number of fans taking part in Final Four Festivities.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton doesn't buy it.

[Special section: Final Four in Phoenix]

Stanton is convinced that having our home state team in the Final Four will be a win for everyone.

"I don't think there's going to be a downtick at all," said Stanton. "There could actually be an uptick because of even more local interest with fans participating in other activities."

Dawn Rogers is executive director of Phoenix's Final Four Local Organizing Committee.

Rogers said that in years past, larger schools with huge fanbases give a definite boost to the local economy, and U of A is one of the schools that travel well.

She's convinced that if Arizona gets in, their fans will travel and spend plenty of money.

"The fans will travel from all over the country, and will fill up hotels," said Rogers. "The economic impact, I don't think that changes at all if you are fortunate to have a team from within your state be part of the Final Four."

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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