NCAA tournament expected to have big impact on Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- With Selection Sunday on the way, sports fans are salivating over which teams will soon be rolling into Milwaukee to play at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

It's not just the fans who are ready for the games to begin -- local businesses in the surrounding area are anticipating a boost from all the out-of-town traffic.

"I couldn't even venture to put a number on it -- astronomically -- business is going to go through the roof," said Dan Moore with Upper 90 Sports Pub.

Marquette economics professor Adbur Chowdhury is venturing a guess at just how much money the tournament could bring in when 12,000 to 15,000 out-of-state fans pour into the city.

"The estimation that I have right now, the calculation that I made shows that it will be somewhere between $5 million to $6 million for the downtown," said Chowdhury. "Majority of them will stay for the entire three-day period even if their team loses, so that means that will generate a lot of revenue for the downtown hotels, restaurants, retail stores."

Local sports bars are expecting a huge turnout, many opening earlier than normal to accommodate extra customers.

"We are hoping that the Badgers are going to play over here which would make it even, just, multiply exponentially so much better," said Marty Petricca of Major Goolsbys.

Professor Chowdhury says another advantage of hosting the tournament is the media exposure Milwaukee will get. He says it's something you can't put a price tag on and expects it to help attract future events to the area.