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Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- Thousands of Women's Final Four fans are already in the Crescent City. They're gearing up for Tuesday night's championship game when Louisville and the University of Connecticut face off.

Those basketball fans are giving New Orleans another big economic boost.

'It's New Orleans. You have to be in New Orleans for New Orleans,' said Russ Evans, who was in town to cheer on UConn with his friend, Joe Ann Shaeffer.

The duo follow the women's basketball team whereever it goes.

'This is my second Final Four. I've been a season ticket holder for the past 20 years. So I like to go,' added Evans.

'I like University of Texas Longhorns. They aren't here. So I'm here just to be here,' said Tia Wilson.

Neither the Longhorns or Notre Dame are facing off on Tuesday, but that didn't stop two visitors from taking a gamble and booking their trip to the Crescent City months ago.

'New Orleans is a great city. I wouldn't have come to the Final Four in another city, but I knew this was a fun place to visit,' said BJ Burris.

The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation estimates that 30,000 basketball fans will come to town for the women's big game.

'Women's Final Four is a great gift to the city of New Orleans. We have hotels in the 90 percent occupancy, 90 percent or more,' said NOTMC President & CEO Mark Romig.

The event, like so many others, brings big business to the city.

'We are expecting somewhere, at least around $20 million dollars in economic impact or more,' said Romig.

'We live in Louisville, Kentucky. It's a great basketball state. We have the men and the women tomorrow,' said Louisville fan Ann Rowe.

Louisville fans staying at the Sheraton say once Monday night's game in Atlanta is over, more of those Cardinal fans are going to be headed to town.

Bonita Slaughter made the drive from Kentucky with family and friends to cheer on her daughter Antonita, who plays for Louisville. Like UConn, this proud mom is keeping her fingers crossed for a win Tuesday night.

'We came to New Orleans for the whole team, the University of Louisville, to take home that big old trophy,' said Slaughter.

NOTMC says it is expecting at least at a $20 million economic impact from the Women's Final Four this year.

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