March Madness in Buffalo generates millions


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Now that March Madness has come to an end in Buffalo, many spectators are on their way home.

Visit Buffalo Niagara’s President Patrick Kaler said by Buffalo hosting the NCAA men’s tournament the visitors generated lots of money for area.

“It’s was a great time. We had 18,000 fans that were here and they’re going to leave behind about $5.2 million,” said Kaler.

In an effort to make sure everyone had a good experience, Visit Buffalo Niagara had nearly 100 volunteers on the streets with a big yellow sign that said “Ask Me”.

The volunteers were out before and during games to help direct visitors to any local attraction.  They also handed out gift certificates as a random act of kindness.

Visit Buffalo Niagara even had a social media campaign that connected them spectators. At one point they were able to help a visitor who needed to find a 24 hour pharmacy.

Kaler said Buffalo is such a good host that the NCAA uses it as a model city. “We have really organized ourselves very well as a community where we have our government officials from both the county executive and the mayor working with the safety and the cleanup efforts in our community,” Kaler said.

Kaler said the wait shouldn’t be too long for the next NCAA visit to Buffalo.

“I’m hoping probably within the next four to five years for basketball and then hopefully in the next few years we’ll also get a Frozen Four [NCAA Hockey Tournament] back here in Buffalo,” he said.

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