INDIANAPOLIS - The stage is almost set for next weekend's NCAA Sweet 16 in Indianapolis.
The city is getting ready to host thousands of college basketball fans beginning this week for games that begin on Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Local businesses are preparing too.
"Anytime you have these special events, it's great not only for a PR standpoint for the city, but also just the room nights and the restaurants and how busy the city stays," said Philip Ray, general manager for the downtown Marriott and chairman of the Indiana Restaurant Lodging Association.
And the city just came off an estimated $25 million weekend hosting the Big 10 tournament and Comic Con. For downtown businesses like Harry and Izzy's, the Sweet 16 is just icing on the cake.
"Indy's become a destination for events and once they bring them here, it's our job to make sure that they have a great time and that they come back and that's what we'll be geared-up and ready to do," said restaurant assistant general manager Jennifer Hon.
This marks the 19th time that the city will host an NCAA Men's Division One basketball tournament, and the fourth time that regionals have been held here. Next year, Indianapolis will again host the men's Final Four.