Hartford businesses to benefit from busy weekend - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hartford businesses to benefit from busy weekend

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A busy weekend is on tap for Hartford (WFSB) A busy weekend is on tap for Hartford (WFSB)

A jampacked weekend in Hartford means millions for the capital city.

This weekend, Hartford will host the American Athletic Conference Basketball Tournament, a cheer competition, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Starting Thursday, the XL Center became a basketball haven.

The hardwood will be getting a lot of national airtime this weekend as teams, including UConn, will be competing for a guaranteed spot in the NCAA tournament.

The Connecticut Convention and Sports Bureau is banking on it being a great weekend.

They're expecting 50,000 to converge on the capital city this weekend.

A dramatic visitor spike like this is expected to pump roughly $7 million into the city.

That money is first being spent at hotels.

The CTCSB says 3,000 rooms were booked at the city's six major hotels for the tournament alone.

“We will be here the whole time. We'll leave when they (the team) says it's time,” said Rick Phillips, who traveled to CT from North Carolina.

Between basketball, the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and a cheer competition at the convention center, the folks at McKinnon’s are gladly working overtime.

“This is the biggest weekend of the year. This sets us up for the rest of the year,” said Ashley Meikle, manager at McKinnon’s.

Overall, $300,000 in sales tax money is expected to be made, and there are deals for locals too.

UConn plays at 8 p.m. on Thursday.

 Many area restaurants are offering a 10 percent discount on food if you show a ticket.

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