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March Madness Comes To The Pepsi Center

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DENVER (CBS4)- Denver is getting a taste of March Madness this year. The Pepsi Center is hosting some of the first and second round games starting Thursday.

The owners of Braun’s Bar & Grill, next to the Pepsi Center, expect the tournament to bring in five times their normal revenue per night.

“Should be pretty good money for everybody,” said Braun’s owner Troy Johnston.

Preparations are under way for the crowds expected this week.

“It benefits the entire downtown because it brings in a lot of people from all over the country,” said Johnston.

It’s an all-day event for the bar, with eight college teams playing six games of basketball over two days.

“It’s spread out, morning, afternoon, evening,” said Johnston.

Many downtown businesses are extending their hours to accommodate the influx of fans.

“It’s very competitive. Many cities want to go after these events,” said Denver Convention & Visitors Bureau spokesman Tim Litherland.

Litherland helped get the NCAA Tournament to Denver. He said people plan their vacations around the event, which means the buying power is there.

“They’re here spending their money in the restaurants and the stores, taking in the attractions,” said Litherland. “It’s upwards of $6 million and possibly beyond depending on which teams you end up with.”

With each event hosted in Denver, the city becomes more attractive to other organizations looking for a venue for their event. In 2012, the Women’s Final Four will be in Denver.

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