March Madness to tip off in Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - On the first day of spring, Buffalo is bracing for March Madness. Round 2 of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament will tip off Thursday at the First Niagara Center.

The tournament will be a slam dunk for local businesses like hotels and restaurants. Excited business owners in Buffalo have been preparing for the tournament all week. It is expected to make a huge economic impact.

Each hotel, restaurant and entertainment venue that’s prepared for this wave of visitors will pick up a piece of an estimated $5.2 million from Buffalo hosting a piece of the men’s basketball tournament.

There will be four games played in Buffalo on Thursday, with the winners returning for the other two games on Saturday. The First Niagara Center will be filled with fans, players, officials and family members during those six games.

The downtown hospitality industry will make sure visitors have enough to do when they’re not watching the games.

Adam’s Mark Hotel’s Edwin Shelp Jr. said, “We have a whole welcome booth here at the hotel that can help people see all the things to see and do here in the area, different restaurants, different attractions, just kind of really focus and show everything that Buffalo has to offer.”

Fans in town will get to see Ohio State and Dayton in the first game. Syracuse and Western Michigan will follow up.

When visitors are hungry they can also try the famous food trucks. They don’t normally get to park downtown, but they have special permits so they can serve up hungry fans close to First Niagara Center.

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