- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Wisconsin Badgers’ trip to the Final Four is generating additional revenue for some retailers.

Sales of Wisconsin apparel are brisk this week as the Badgers prepare to take on the University of Kentucky in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday night.

Customer traffic at Campus Street Sportswear in Madison has noticeably increased, owner Mark Dunbar told the State Journal (https://bit.ly/1gKEAAq ).

“It’s probably tenfold compared to a regular week,” Dunbar said. “Sales have really been good.”

Unlike a Rose Bowl or other football bowl games where Badgers fans have three or more weeks to buy a sweatshirt, T-shirt or cap, the Badgers earned their Final Four berth last weekend, so many stores didn’t get the apparel on their sales floors until Sunday afternoon.

Erik McNeill, 41, a Dodgeville native and teacher in the Chicago area, shopped at Dunbar’s store Monday with his wife while his three young children darted around the store. McNeill said he would probably be spending about $150 on Final Four clothing for his family.

“I think there’s a lot of support,” McNeill said. “It’s going to add and continue to make the Badger fan base even stronger.”

Sports bars around Wisconsin will likely see extra business for the game Saturday. Pooley’s Sports Bar & Event Center, in Madison, has 38 televisions, including three 65-inch TVs. Owner Geoff Pooley predicts it’ll be one of his biggest nights of the year.

“When the UW plays in those particular (NCAA basketball) games, we can bring in more money than a Rose Bowl,” Poole said. “Every time the Badgers advance, it’s just a huge shot in the arm.”

At Toppers Pizza, a typical Saturday traffic brings in between $4,000 to $5,500. During Saturday’s Elite Eight game, the restaurant had $7,000 in sales, a figure that will likely be surpassed this weekend, especially if the Badgers win, general manager Zach Jerrard said.

“People just celebrate. They go out and they have a great time,” Jerrard said.


Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, https://www.madison.com/wsj

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