First Four translates to $5 million for local economy

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)- The University of Albany Men’s basketball team was the first of eight teams to arrive in Dayton Monday to  compete in the NCAA First Four.

Thousands of fans are expected to follow on Tuesday and Wednesday for the games, held at UD Arena. The Dayton Montgomery County Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates this will translate to $5 million for the local economy.

Many area hotels, including the Beavercreek hotel where the Albany men’s team is staying, welcomed the added business.

“It gets our entire staff involved and we enjoy it,”said Crystal Watkins, who is the hotel’s senior sales manager. “We love it. We decorate the hotel and play their fight song. This team (Albany) is large. They travel with band and cheer so that filled 75% of our hotel.”

Watkins said combine that with the fans and family of players who have also made reservations and the Beavercreek hotel is booked solid for the next couple of days.

Area restaurants and bars also welcome the uptick in business. Milano’s on Brown Street is adding extra staff in anticipation of bigger crowds.

Businesses near the University of Dayton’s campus hope teams and fans will stop in their store a time or two.
Korporate Kasuals is everything UD. Owner John Kelly said the First Four will bring business, but the Dayton Flyers in the NCAA tournament should generate even more traffic.

“The fact that both Dayton’s men’s and women’s team both made the tournament will give us a little bump,” said Kelly. The fans get excited. We’ll carry NCAA shirts for the men and the women.”

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