- Associated Press - Friday, March 17, 2017

MILWAUKEE (AP) - The sold-out NCAA men’s basketball tournament could mean millions in revenue for Milwaukee.

The economic impact the last time the city hosted the games in 2014 was $4.6 million, according to Visit Milwaukee.

Visit Milwaukee spokeswoman Kristin Settle told Wisconsin Public Radio (https://bit.ly/2nhkyrC ) the fact that four of the eight schools playing in Milwaukee this year are within a six-hour drive should lead to a 30 percent increase in revenue with a $6 million total economic impact on the city.

“That’s everything from staying in hotels to spending money at restaurants, bars and attractions,” Settle said.

She said all six games at the BMO Harris Bradley Center were sold-out and hotel occupancy is up.

“That’s 55,000 people that we’re going to be able to showcase Milwaukee to,” Settle said. “That’s in addition to all those fans who are traveling without tickets who are just going to hang out at local watering holes and cheer on their team.”

She said she expects Milwaukee to be able to handle the influx of people for the festivities. She said the city being walkable will help with traffic concerns.

St. Patrick’s Day events Friday were also expected to add to the city’s revenue.

Butler University, Iowa State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Purdue University, University of Minnesota, University of Nevada, University of Vermont, and Winthrop University are the teams playing in Milwaukee.

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Information from: Wisconsin Public Radio, https://www.wpr.org

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