NCAA tournament is a slam dunk for Memphis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

NCAA tournament is a slam dunk for Memphis

By Lori Brown - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC-TV) - Mission accomplished: the NCAA tournament ended Sunday night, and the City of Memphis is celebrating a slam dunk.

Basketball teams experienced victory and defeat inside the FedEx Forum. But in the end, Memphis was the real winner, providing about 15,000 tourists with a safe and entertaining experience. 

"We love the city...great food, people are very friendly, city is easy to get around in," said Gonzaga fan Brad DeCounter of Spokane, Washington.

There were only three arrests during the tournament. All were for non-violent crimes: one for a car break-in, another for a parking lot scam, and the third for the sale of counterfeit t-shirts.
Otherwise, the only madness sweeping the Bluff City was March Madness.

Memphis Police officers on wheels and on horseback kept the streets safe and left tourists with a great impression of the city.
"First event I've been to in Memphis, really well organized," said Guy Jackson of Oklahoma City. "I don't think you can say enough about the hospitality of Memphis."    
Kevin Kane with the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau says NCAA officials were also impressed.

"Great opportunity to showcase the city on national television," he said. "I think we've received high marks with the NCAA, and that's what's good for us."
Many business owners hope those good marks will attract more tournaments to the city in the future.

"We've had a dramatic increase in business," said Huey's Restaurant Manager Adam Fredrick.

From hotels to bars and restaurants, cash registers were overflowing, despite the recession.

"Our business was up 25 percent, and half our business was from people from out of town," said Ground Zero Blues Club Manager Mac Edwards.

Kane says hard figures aren't available yet, but he says the tournament was a multi-million dollar event for Memphis.

The city will host some March Madness again next year when the NCAA women's regional final comes to the FedEx Forum. 

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