(Buffalo, N.Y.) – Buffalo will host NCAA basketball tournament games this week, which will have a major financial impact on the city’s hospitality industry.
“This is a huge deal for Buffalo,” said Brian Hayden, communications manager at Visit Buffalo Niagara, who appeared on the Buffalo Review March 13.
“Conservatively we’re looking at $8 million in economic impact for our local hotels and restaurants and visitor amenities,” said Hayden.
However, he said that estimate only includes visitors such as the teams and other associated officials and doesn’t account for fans who might travel to attend the games.
Thus, he said, the impact could be much larger depending on how well the fans of teams, such as Villanova, Notre Dame and West Virgina, travel to support their teams.
This is the 7th time Buffalo has hosted NCAA tournament games and the last time the event was held in the city was 2014.
“With each event we host here, it establishes our reputation further as a destination for college and amateur athletics,” Hayden said.
With the changes the city has undergone in the last few years, visitors new and old will have much to experience.
“There’s been a lot of preparation work that has gone into welcoming all these visitors,” said Hayden.
There is a team of roughly 100 volunteers, who will be stationed in and around the KeyBank Center, distributing information to visitors and answering questions, he said.
Additional information will be available online by using the hash tag #HoopsBuf.
The tournament games will be held at the KeyBank Center Thursday, March 16 and Saturday, March 18.
* Joseph Kasko contributed to this report.