Updated: Friday, 19 Mar 2010, 7:34 AM EDT
Published : Friday, 19 Mar 2010, 7:34 AM EDT
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Downtown Buffalo will be buzzing with college basketball fans on Friday.
Plenty of fans made the trip a day early on Thursday to catch the open practice at HSBC Arena, featuring the Syracuse Orange and seven other top schools.
Jim Unger remarked, "We were going to come tomorrow, but decided to come this morning and watch the practices and stay for the whole weekend."
The arena will be a lot more crowded, and so will downtown Buffalo.
With only 150 spots available, city officials strongly recommend using public transportation.
The NFTA is offering a $4.00 pass for all of Friday's events, as well as trolleys from the arena to local restaurants.
They're hoping the big games mean a big boost for business.
"We're offering a discount of 10% for food and beverages. Hopefully downtown will get a good economic push out of this," explained Sam Gikas from King's Court restaurant.
This weekend's games are expected to bring 18,000 visitors and $5 million to Buffalo.