PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – NCAA basketball games are once again coming to Providence this week, and that means big bucks for the capital city’s coffers.
John Gibbons of the Rhode Island Sports Commission told Eyewitness News that the games will inject about $3.5 million into the local economy.
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“The economic impact for the city, especially for Thursday, is just going to be off the charts,” Gibbons said.
The games will be part of the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament. There will be games played on Thursday and Saturday, although the times and teams haven’t been chosen yet. The tournament selection process takes place later this evening.
“Once these teams are announced we’re going to have all the alumni associations trying to gather and find a place to hold and event, so the restaurant community will be hit hard, especially between the games on Thursday.”
Gibbons said the NCAA itself purchases two thousand hotel rooms for the games – and fans of the teams are purchasing their own.
Between the games, another convention in town this week and St. Patrick’s Day, Gibbons recommends that people heading downtown try public transportation to help cope with the increased traffic._______UPDATE:
At the Dunk, #3 Miami of Floria will take on #14 Buffalo, #6 Arizona will play the winner of Vanderbilt/ Witchita State, #5 Baylor will take on #12 Yale, and #4 Duke will battle #13 UNC Wilmington.