NCAA Tournament: Milwaukee gets estimated $6.5M boost, 18K visitors

The NCAA Tournament continues at Fiserv Forum on Sunday, March 20 – the Wisconsin Badgers battle Iowa State before Texas takes on Purdue.

There has been a lot of Wisconsin red in downtown Milwaukee over the weekend – but there are fans from across the country enjoying the experience.

"Yesterday, nobody seemed to mind, but now Wisconsin fans are giving me a look today," said Garrett Hove, an Iowa State fan.

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The Deer District put up "Home of the Badgers" signs, but that isn't stopping other fans from representing their teams. 

"We are die-hard Purdue University fans, so ‘Boiler Up,’" Katie Sermershein said.

"It’s been awesome. The city of Milwaukee is great, and what I’ve noticed, too, is even if you’re not a Badger fan, they’re welcoming to everybody," said Garrett Carlson, a fan from Rockford, Illinois.

VISIT Milwaukee estimates 18,000 people traveled to Milwaukee for the tournament. Saturday's day off gave them a chance to explore.

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"We’re staying at Brewhouse Inn & Suites, so we’ve just been walking around, even in the cold rain, just having a good time," Katrina Carlson, also of Rockford, said.

Badgers fans may have even won over a few in the process.

Bucky Badger at Fiserv Forum for the 2022 NCAA Tournament

"I picked them in my bracket, so yes. I would be afraid to not root for the Badgers," said Katrina.

VISIT Milwaukee estimates the economic impact of this year's tournament is $6.5 million – more than Game 6 of the NBA Finals in 2021, which the Bucks won to claim the title.

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