NCAA Sweet Sixteen games bring in big business for downtown Loui - WDRB 41 Louisville News

NCAA Sweet Sixteen games bring in big business for downtown Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Thousands of basketball fans packed downtown Louisville for the NCAA Sweet Sixteen games Thursday night.

All four teams playing at the KFC Yum! Center, Kansas, Maryland, Villanova, and Miami, were well-represented.

Restaurants and bars near the KFC Yum! Center were packed before during and after Friday's games. Employees say the businesses were busier than the average Thursday night.

"There's a great energy in town. There's a lot of people out. Traffic is definitely up. Business is popping," said Wayne Sweeney with Manny and Merle restaurant.

Some downtown Louisville businesses reported having four times their normal business Thursday night.

"We're predicting about 80 percent of what we would've done if the Big Blue had been here, so that's what we're thinking," said George Timmering with Bearno's by the Bridge.

Hotels in the downtown area also said they were either booked or close to full.

Even though their team wasn't in the NCAA tournament this year, some University of Louisville fans joined the crowds Thursday night.

Peggy Frerman, a U of L fan, said, "It's sad that we're not in the tournament. But we want to be a part of it and we want to support all of the other teams that have come here."

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