Final Four brings thousands of basketball fans to Crescent City

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wwltv.com

Posted on April 7, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Updated Sunday, Apr 7 at 10:34 PM

Maya Rodriguez / Eyewitness News
Email: mrodriguez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mrodriguezwwl

NEW ORLEANS -- In the shadow of the New Orleans Arena, Tourney Town is welcoming people to women's Final Four basketball in New Orleans.

"We go to the Final Four as many times as we can,” said University of Connecticut fan Jan Regina.

For some visitors, it's a chance to come back to the Crescent City once more.

"It's been great so far,” said University of Connecticut fan Doug Presley. “The weather's beautiful. Unfortunately, we're playing indoors, but we're looking forward to the game."

Tourism leaders say upwards of 30,000 people will come to the city for the women's Final Four, pumping in tens of millions of dollars into the local economy by, among other things, staying in hotels and eating out.

"We're here for a week, until next Friday, taking tours, enjoying things,” said University of Connecticut fan Claire Badstubner.

"Last night, we went out and had great dining, and everybody is very collegial, regardless of what team is here, which makes it a lot of fun,” Presley said.

The tournament is also making an effort to reach out to those who call New Orleans home as they encourage people to come out the free fan experience at tourney town.

"I do think it's a wonderful opportunity, not just for the city, but also for the residents of New Orleans as well. Just to come together as a community and just to enjoy life,” said New Orleans resident Renee Roussell.

It all comes on what's been a busy sporting year for New Orleans in the past year.

Last year, the city hosted the men's Final Four, then this year the Sugar Bowl and the Super Bowl, and next year the NBA All-Star Game.

For now, though, it's all about women's basketball.

"We're rooting for Connecticut and we want to see them win, but bottom line, we're probably going to see the best women's basketball in the nation,” Presley said.

 

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