Craig Day, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- In downtown Tulsa, they're putting up tents and banners and rolling out the green carpet for a little St. Patrick's day fun, and for visitors in town for the NCAA basketball tournament.
"We want to show them that we have good hospitality and welcome to downtown," Chris Armstrong, with Arnie's Bar, said.
Jim and Sandy Hambacher are here from Arizona.
"It's good to be in the city and go to another place that we haven't been before," Jim Hambacher said.
The NCAA tournament will bring tens of thousands of basketball fans to Tulsa, and many, like the Hambachers, are spending time at downtown restaurants.
"We like to search out some of the local places and blue dome diner was great. It reminds us of a few places back home," Sandy Hambacher said.
Several downtown restaurants, like Fat Guys Burger Bar, expect a 30 percent or better increase in customers thanks to the combination of NCAA basketball, St Patrick's Day, and great weather.
"You couldn't ask for anything better," Mike Meehan, with Fat Guys Burger Bar, said.
They've stocked up on extras including 3,000 pounds of potatoes.
Joe Momma's pizza also stocked up in anticipation of big crowds, looking for great local eats.
"We've got more stock back there than I've ever seen, it's exciting. It's cool," Kyle Meador, with Joe Momma's Pizza, said.
What's also cool is that many of the restaurants like Joe Momma's aren't far from many downtown hotels and from the BOK Center.
"It's going to be fun. It's going to be great. We're excited," Meador said.
And as the excitement builds downtown, for several days of fun, no matter who wins on the court, Tulsa ends up the big winners.
"Everybody downtown is going to win with this deal," Meehan said.
The first basketball game in Tulsa, Texas vs. Oakland, tips off Friday morning at 11:15 a.m. on CBS.