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MAAC Tournament Boosts Business In Downtown Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Downtown is busy this weekend with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Basketball Tournament taking place at the MassMutual Center.

Ten schools have their men’s and women’s basketball teams staying in the city.  Besides the athletes their families, friends and fans are coming in for the games.

“I am a fan of college basketball and a high school basketball coach,” said Bill Connelly, New Jersey.

The La Quinta Inn is booked up this weekend. Crowds of fans packed the lobby Friday night in between games. Others filled up JT’s Sports Bar until the next tip off.  People are also checking out Nadim’s for dinner. They’re adding staff and opening up on Sunday because of the tournament.

“It’s great to see different people from all New England to come down and see what Springfield has to offer,” said Rebecca Thorton, manger Nadim’s.

Some people stay for a night or two depending on how their team plays, but say they’d consider spending more time in the city if there was a casino built.

“Ya definitely. I would definitely consider staying the weekend if there was a casino,” said Taylor Yatuim, Siena fan.

“Even if you didn’t gamble and I am not one that does, but it’s worth seeing and it’s fun,” said Mindy Crowley, Ohio.

Each casino’s plan includes enhancing entertainment in the city by bringing in more events like the MAAC Tournament.

Earlier this week, MGM announced their bringing rapper Pit Bull and professional bull riders to the city. Friday, Penn National announced a plan to redevelop the Paramount Theater.

The MAAC Tournament runs through Monday night.

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