Thousands of Visitors Expected for NCAA Basketball Tournament

March 17, 2014 Updated Mar 17, 2014 at 6:36 PM EDT

By Hannah Buehler

March 17, 2014 Updated Mar 17, 2014 at 6:36 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) Thousands of people are expected to pack into Buffalo this week for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at the First Niagara Center.

It’s been four years since Buffalo played host city to the tournament, and the city looks a lot different than it did in 2010.

“Some of these teams that have been here before will see the incredible things that are going on in the city of Buffalo today,” said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

“We will be able to showcase all of the progress that’s taken place in the city of Buffalo,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

Guests will see cranes in the air and progress on the HarborCenter, and updated Cobblestone District, a new Seneca Niagara Casino and tons of other bars, restaurants and hangouts for people to enjoy during their stay.

“This tournament does have a tremendous economic impact,” said Poloncarz.

“I think the city is definitely ready for this,” said Patrick Kaler, President and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara. “We have the restaurants, the hotels, the activities to do things in-between the games that will be taking place on Thursday and Saturday.”

To help visitors navigate around the city, over 100 volunteers from Visit Buffalo Niagara will be stationed around the arena, holding yellow signs that say “Ask Me.”

“We want to make sure we’re giving them the information so they can go out and experience Buffalo,” said Kaler.

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