MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Downtown Milwaukee is beginning to fill up with basketball fans! 18,000 are expected for the NCAA Tournament games hosted at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Many of these people have never been to Milwaukee before, and that's where the Downtown Milwaukee Ambassadors come in.
There is a good chance many of the first-time visitors to Milwaukee will meet Mary Mendez. Mendez works for VISIT Milwaukee, and on Wednesday, March 19th, she was stationed downtown.
Mendez says when people visit Milwaukee for basketball, conventions or business, they will inevitably have some downtime.
"What can they see in the city? Is it walkable or how to take a bus somewhere," Mendez said.
Mendez is a paid staffer, but during the NCAA Tournament, VISIT Milwaukee has about 50 volunteers that will be stationed at downtown hotels to help visitors find their way around, find parking, and find somewhere to eat.
Bill Hoops with BYU passed on taking the team bus so he could walk around Milwaukee.
"I like to see places. It's a lot older town than out there in Salt Lake City," Hoops said.
The Milwaukee Police Department will have mounted patrols concentrating on downtown during the games -- in an effort to keep people safe, and help visitors.
"Especially for out-of-town visitors who are unfamiliar with the area, for restaurants and everything like that -- we can recommend that way and make sure they have a safe time while they are here," an officer told FOX6 News.
Between the NCAA Tournament and other events happening this weekend, VISIT Milwaukee is estimating more than 20,000 visitors in Milwaukee's downtown this weekend.