BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — March Madness fans from all over the country flocked to Buffalo Thursday for the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament.
Buffalo is hosting the first and second rounds at Key Bank Center.
Officials say all area hotels are completely booked as more than 19,000 fans are expected to be in the city for four days.
News 4 reporter Rachele Mongiovi talked to out of state visitors ahead of the tournament, and fans say they’re leaving Buffalo with a good impression.
“I really like the city, I think there’s a great downtown, there’s a lot of things to do, there’s a good nightlife, places to eat,” said Brendon Morris, visitor from New Jersey.
Buffalo’s snowy reputation remained true to visitors.
“We haven’t had much snow and it was funny to see, they said you guys had more snow out of this storm than the whole month of January and February,” said Mike Burnop, visitor from Virginia.
For many out-of-towners this was their first time visiting the Queen City.
When you’re in Buffalo, you do as the Buffalonian’s do, and that means, eating buffalo chicken wings! “Coles, amazing, I had like 25 buffalo wings this morning,” said Jesse Hutcher, visitor from New York City.
After the first two games at Key Bank Center, all fans had to leave for a 90 minute break.
Local restaurants have been preparing all week long and for a lot of them, it was standing room only.
“A lot of our restaurants were filled to capacity. I think people are really seeing the vibrancy of our city and that they can have a great time just about anywhere they go, said Patrick Kaler, President/CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara.
As Buffalo continues to score with visitors, western New Yorker’s once again are showing that Buffalo is the city of good neighbors.
“People have been fantastic, just really nice and hospitable so we’ve really enjoyed that aspect for sure,” said John Laaser, visitor from Virginia.