The city of Orlando is hosting March Madness for the first time in 10 years and six NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament games will be played at the Amway Center this weekend.
There were 53 cities that hoped to host the games. Orlando was one of eight cities awarded the second and third round games and the tournament is expected to be big for Central Florida’s economy.
According to Bright House Sports Network, Central Florida Sports Commission President John Bisignano Jr. said that their goal is to bring events to the city that bring visitors that help to generate an economic impact.
Bisignano said each team is expected to bring about 10,000 fans to Central Florida, so with eight teams playing at the Amway Center…well, you do the math.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer is a graduate of the University of Florida so he is excited to host to his Gators.
Dyer spoke to Bright House Sports Network about Orlando having a realistic shot to host the NCAA Final Four anytime soon. He said it could happen.
“I think we can get the Sweet 16. The Final Four is tough because they’ve been playing them in dome stadiums the last several times, about the last 10 years or so I don’t know about that. But what I would like to do is be able to showcase the Amway Center and have the NCAA want to come here every year.”
Mayor Dyer and other officials are expecting the games on Thursday and Saturday to sell out because of high profile teams like Pittsburgh and the defending National Champion Louisville Cardinals.
Here are the Thursday matchups:
- 1 Florida
- 16 Albany / Mount St. Mary’s (play-in game)
- 8 Colorado
- 9 Pittsburgh
- 5 Saint Louis
- 12 NC State / Xavier
- 4 Louisville
- 13 Manhattan
The winner of the 1 vs. 16 and 8 vs. 9 games, and the winner of the 5 vs. 12 and 4 vs. 13 games, will play each other Saturday at the Amway Center.
For more on this story visit: John W. Davis, Bright House Sports Network