Tourney brings excitement, money to downtown

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Thousands of people packed the First Niagara Center Thursday, to see if their favorite teams in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

There was no genuine home court advantage for any of the teams that played in Buffalo Thursday, although you wouldn’t know that from all the Orange in the stands at First Niagara Center.

Just two-and-a-half hours from Syracuse, frenzied fans saw their team beat Western Michigan. They were excited during and after the game.

Orange fan Luke Seward said, “They dominated, it was wonderful. They’re back.”

Syracuse fan Greg MacBride said, “They’re my favorite team. We played really good, we blew ‘em out just looking forward to seeing them on Saturday.”

A surprise in another game, with Dayton upsetting Ohio State. That means the Flyers will face the Orange Saturday night at First Niagara Center.

With thousands of people here in Buffalo for one reason, businesses are looking to cash in.

One thing we’ll be watching Friday is the fluctuation in parking prices, and to see how restaurants are doing.

Weather has taken its toll on some of the area’s restaurants, this winter. You can only imagine these NCAA fans are good for the bottom line.

Local hotels are booked solid through the weekend. Some restaurants had two-hour wait times for tables.

Six food trucks were outside the First Niagara Center Thursday, they had to get special permission to be down here and they saw some pretty good turn out.

So did the bars, considering there was no booze served at these basketball games. One fan said he was “pre gaming like Buffalonians do,” but then heading into the game.

Knight Slider Food Truck’s Ayoub Abboud said, “It’s a great feeling down here, kinds of livens up the area, especially with all the construction, brings and attracts more people, I’m hoping to the city.”

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