City of Louisville and fans could still benefit from postseason basketball despite men's NCAA Tournament snub
Missing the big dance could pay off for the city of Louisville, because there will still be a lot of basketball at the KFC Yum! Center this week.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Missing the big dance could pay off for the city of Louisville, because there will still be a lot of basketball at the KFC Yum! Center this week.
It is not the coveted NCAA Tournament, but the U of L will host Northern Kentucky on Tuesday night in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament.
Outside the KFC Yum! Center, Cardinals fans lined up at the ticket window on Monday afternoon.
Fans are not happy about Sunday night's NCAA Tournament snub, but the city will still see postseason basketball this week. In addition to the men's NIT appearance, the U of L women's basketball team is expected to host its first-and second-round games of the NCAA Tournament.
"We have an opportunity to have both our teams in postseason play in their home building ... (It's) a special opportunity," said Eric Granger, General Manager of The KFC Yum! Center. "There's a lot of excitement about the women's program and what they're doing, and we think they're going to go far, and we're hoping for a huge crowd to support them."
Those huge crowds could be a bonus for downtown Louisville restaurants, hotels and businesses.
"The Yum! Center really helped turn around downtown," said George Timmering, co-owner Bearno's Pizza on Main Street.
Timmering expects the restaurant to be busy this week.
"We live for gameday," he said.
Like most Cardinals fans, he is disappointed the men aren't playing in the NCAA Tournament, but he said a lot of businesses will still cash in this week.
"Tuesday night start it off, and then hopefully they take care of business and play another game, and then we'll have the women's game the weekend," Timmering said. "So hopefully we'll get four games this week."
The Cardinals' NIT opener tips off at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Copyright 2018 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.