While March Madness has descended upon Sacramento with the Men's Tournament, the Women's NCAA Tournament is coming to Stockton.
From March 25-27, eight teams will play in quarterfinal matchup's at the Stockton Arena downtown.
The Stockton Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the economic impact between $1.5 to $2 million for the city's economy.
Hotels like the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel is booked solid with 80 rooms each for the four teams. The Marriott Residence Inn and Courtyard by Marriott have rooms reserved for NCAA staff and referees.
The ooms are ready for their one shining moment.
“We want to put on a good face and make sure they enjoy their stay so when it’s time to come back in this area, or Stockton is up for a re-bid, it’s a no-brainer," says Kerwin Garcia, Marriott Stockton, Director of Sales.
It’s one of the biggest sporting events in Stockton history.
The businesses in the area also plan to cash in.
At Bella Vista Italian Restaurant downtown, they’re turning over pasta to get ready for the madness.
“It’s going to show Stockton and the world in a positive way and that’s what you want," says owner Rima Barkett.
Barkett hails from Tuscany. She’s sent out gift certificates to tourney coaches in the hopes they’ll take a shot at her restaurant.
“We are brand new," says Barkett. "Very few people know we are here. But we are here to make great food. Great food from Italy.”
Rental companies are cashing in too, along with movie theaters and other restaurants close to the Stockton Arena.
“Well the hotels in town will be sold out if they aren’t already and then the restaurants and the stores. Everyone will be seeing the impact. The teams will be town for a couple days. The fans will have time to eat and shop and enjoy the town," says Tim Pasisz, Sports Director for the Stockton Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The comeback is what it’s all about for this once bankrupt city.
“Just the media exposure, and the exposure from across the country and having the NCAA coming to town. Every city wants that," says Pasisz.
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