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Thousands Expected For Weekend Rounds Of NCAA Tournament


By Jenn Bernstein

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The NCAA Tournament is in town this weekend for rounds two and three at the Wells Fargo Center.

One of the high profile teams playing this weekend, Duke University, hit the court to practice Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia is ready, with arms wide open and banners flying to welcome guests expected to flood the city.

“We probably have at least 5,000 visitors or so coming from outside the area, enjoying all that the city has to offer, hotels, restaurants, attractions,” said Philadelphia Sports Congress Executive Director Larry Needle.

Needle said visitors are expected to spend $8 to $10 million over the course of the weekend.

We saw it first hand when we bumped into members of the Duke Marching and Pep Band.

They’d just come from breakfast at Reading Terminal Market.

When asked what he thought of Philadelphia so far, Duke Junior Daniel Wood said, “It’s colder than Durham! But we dressed for the occasion it’s a really cool city.”

“I think we are just going to head out and look at the city,” said Duke Senior Halei Benefield, “This is a new city for a lot of us so, we’re headed to the historic district to see some things we haven’t seen before!”

“We’re selling about 5,000 room nights from the games,” said Ed Grose, the Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, “and also it’s a good group to have because not only are they here for the games, they’re also going to be a hungry and thirsty bunch.”

Games begin in South Philadelphia Friday and the winners will play again on Sunday.

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