KFC Yum! Center and downtown Louisville businesses prepare for N - WDRB 41 Louisville News

KFC Yum! Center and downtown Louisville businesses prepare for NCAA Tournament

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Crews are transforming the KFC YUM! Center before the madness starts, preparing for the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament on Saturday.

Most of the work is being done inside, but nearby businesses are also getting ready for the fans.

"It's definitely a bonus and a benefit, having the YUM! Center, 20,000 people across the street," said Wayne Sweeney, General Manager of Merle's Whiskey Kitchen.

Sweeney's restaurant is on West Main Street, right across the street from the YUM! Center.

"Anytime the YUM! Center has an event, it's a big bonus for us," he said.

That bonus is coming from the NCAA and a little girl power. On Monday, the NCAA announced the YUM! Center will host first-and second-round games for the women's tournament.

"We didn't find out definitely that we were going to host until the selection show," said Kevin Washam, Event Manager at the YUM! Center.

Washam said after the selection show, crews went to work cleaning and shinning Denny Crum Court.

"We want to put our best foot forward and give a first-class presentation to the teams, the officials, the fans," he said.

Those teams include Louisville, Dayton, Chattanooga, powerhouse Tennessee and lots of fans.

"The University of Louisville, the women's program, is one of the highest-attended in the nation, year after year," Washam said. "The University of Tennessee is another high-attendance program, and they travel well."

Washam said those teams and fans will spend a few days in Louisville, and that's a financial boon for the YUM! Center and its neighbors.

"The local businesses should see a lot of different color teams this weekend and Monday," Washam said.

Sweeney said he'll also have extra people in place and extended hours on Saturday and Monday.

The first-round game is on Saturday. Louisville and Chattanooga play at 1:30 p.m. and Tennessee and Dayton play at 4: p.m. The winners play in the second round on Monday.

Related Stories:

LEWIS | U of L women will open NCAA at home

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