Posted at: 03/13/2013 11:01 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4
The state high school basketball tournament in Albuquerque this week brings hundreds of extra people to the city. So we want to know, how is this surge in sports fans affecting our local economy.
The school spirit and excitement aren’t limited to The Pit. All over town, you can see the excitement at local businesses. As soon as the buzzer goes off, local restaurants fill up.
On Wednesday night, every table was filled at Frontier Restaurant. “We’re loving every minute of the tournament,” said Mark McElheney, restaurant manager.
More crowds mean more money. “The dollars will be spread out accordingly. They’ll be shopping. They’ll be spending money in restaurants. They’ll be in the hotels locally,” said Carlo Lucero of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce.
Businesses near The Pit are expected to be busy for the rest of the week. Then on Saturday, when the tournament wraps up, that’s when it’ll get really crowded. “We are going to see a boost in business without a doubt, especially as you can see tonight, it’s already an elevated business for us and it continues night after night until the tournament ends Saturday and that’s when the real wave comes in,” added McElheney.