NCAA basketball fans boost downtown businesses

NCAA basketball fans boost downtown businesses

DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - March Madness means money madness for Cleveland. Thousands of basketball fans are flocking to town and spending lots of money.

Danni Chilcott, a

fan, is excited to see Thursday night's game.

"Very psyched," Chilcott said. "I think we're all really pumped. We can't wait to play and cheer on the Shockers team!"

Chilcott and some of her friends were walking along

Wednesday evening. Before the games begin, they are checking out the city.

"I've never been to Cleveland, so it's been fun experiencing the culture," said Kelli Rappard, also from Wichita. "We went to the

and the

."

Cleveland's most popular tourist attractions aren't the only places that are getting an economic boost. Downtown hotels are sold out to accommodate all the visitors. Restaurants are seeing big crowds, too.

"The economic impact of this will be somewhere between $5-$10 million and we won't truly know until after the event when we really look at the number of visitors who came in," said Jeff Pacini, vice president of business development for the

.

on East 4

th

and Euclid is getting a nice boost in business this week.

alumni groups have made it the central meeting location while they are in Cleveland.

Michael Grasso, the general manager at The Corner Alley, says he had to add staff to handle the extra customers this week.

"We're definitely hiring more people, buying more product," Grasso said. "Locally for us, a large increase in sales. It's one of our best March's ever. After a long, cold winter it's definitely helping out."

Follow everything March Madness in our NCAA tournament section.

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