Tourism group gives high marks to hoops tourney

Mar 24, 2014

While some NCAA fans left disappointed because their teams didn't advance past Buffalo, Visit Buffalo Niagara President and CEO Patrick Kaler says he's happy because things went well and the visitors left behind more than $5 million.

Fans head to the First Niagara Center during the NCAA tournament.
Credit WBFO News file photo

"The only thing that didn't go well might have been the weather," Kaler said.

"But, really, the good news is that the only time the weather was bad was when people were inside the arena. Otherwise, Friday, their day off from the tournament, perfect blue skies, cloudless day."

First Niagara Center was packed, as were restaurants and bars and a lot of other places on the off-day. 

Kaler admits there was a minor problem with parking prices but quick social media work shifted people to cheaper lots.

Kaler said this year's tournament also serves as another notice to those who run major sports events that this area knows how to run them successfully.