Tulsa Cashes In On March Madness Basketball Games

Sunday, March 19th 2017, 10:26 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa's part of March Madness was a success.

More than 40,000 tickets were sold for the NCAA men's basketball tournament games in Tulsa this weekend,  flooding downtown with basketball fanatics.

KU fans, Bill and Cindy Geiger, were two of them.

"Now if I can keep this feeling I have right now, win today, I'll have a much better day," Bill Geiger said.

 The Geigers were rooting on KU at the 2011 games.

"I remember standing in the rain out here, waiting to get in."

Geiger says a lot has changed in six years

"Now this is beautiful, you've got a 76 or 80 degrees and windy and very nice. Plus this time we've got our grandkids with us which is even better," he said.

Geiger says Tulsa businesses are more welcoming towards tourists than they were in 2011

And Visit Tulsa President Ray Hoyt says that isn't surprising.

He said, "If you can look outside, you can see there's a lot of blue which means there's a lot of Kansas fans down in Tulsa spending their money and visiting obviously and supporting our economy."

City officials are expecting tourists to pump more than $8,000,000 into Tulsa's economy this weekend

"That's everything from the server at McNellie's who is now working more hours because there are more people to the hotel tax to the sales tax."

Hoyt says the positive economic impact the NCAA tournament is bringing Tulsa can be felt in countless businesses throughout the city.

Hotels are full and restaurants are packed.

"It puts us on the national scene in the sports world, I mean, there is only one March Madness, one NCAA final four tournament."

Hoyt says the city is hoping to bidding to bring more big events like March Madness to Tulsa in the future.