ARLINGTON (CBS 11 NEWS) - Workers laid large, wooden sections over the turf of Cowboys Stadium Monday in preparation for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Southern Regionals at the end of the week. Three well known colleges and the upstart Florida Gulf Coast will compete in the win-or-go-home tournament.
“You have Kansas coming,” said Tim Allen, a tournament manager as he ticked off the four competing teams. “Are they going to wear the ruby red slippers? You’ve the Cinderella. Are they going to have the glass slippers? It’ll be an interesting weekend to see what happens with those guys. And of course you don’t want to forget Michigan and Florida. They have terrific basketball programs.”
The combination of teams has pieced together a schedule expected to draw 30,000 or more people per game to Cowboys sSadium. In other cities, the event has pumped around $10 million into local businesses.
Hotels in Arlington and even Fort Worth expect to be completely booked. And area businesses expect the action on the hardwood to result in action at the cash register too.
Nearby, Boomerjack’s restaurant seats 400 people. It expects to be at capacity for up to five straight hours Friday.
“Our business will go up anywhere from 50 to 100 percent,” said restaurant manager Jim Edmunds. “So, in essence I double everything. I double the number of servers I have in the floor, the number of hostesses, cooks , food runners — everything. We have to monitor security, parking. There’s a lot of preparation that goes into it but the end result is worth it.”
The business even spills over into the nearby Popcorn Store.
“Its very busy,” said Greta Coomer, the store’s owner, about game days. “Its poppin’, let’s say that!”
Just how much Coomer’s business will pop during the indoor basketball game will, ironically, depend on the weather outside. Good weather means fans strolling around before game time.
“We look forward to the crowds and hope that its good weather so they’ll be out walking around and see our store and stop in and see what its all about.”
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