PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As Villanova continues its run in the big dance, even more March Madness is coming to Philly. The Wells Fargo Center is hosting the East Region of the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight and the games are sure to deliver an economic slam dunk to the region.
Philadelphia is pulling out the red carpet for the teams in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight.READ MORE: 5-Year-Old Boy Injured In North Philadelphia Shooting, Police Say
With it comes a brand new floor which was just installed Wednesday afternoon.
After two years of living in a pandemic, city leaders say they’re ready to throw a party.
“I think of this kind of our coming-out party. If you’re in Center City this weekend, you’re going to see the fans. You’re going to see the excitement,” Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association Executive Director Ed Grose said.
It’s estimated that 15,000 fans will come to Philadelphia for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games.
“This is overall a great thing for not only for the city of Philadelphia but the region,” Grose said.READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Teen Pilot Who Landed Plane On Bridge In Ocean City Shares How He Survived New Mexico Plane Crash
It’s estimated that 8,100 hotel rooms will be rented out between Friday and Sunday. Visitors are expected to spend over $12 million during the weekend.
That spending includes going to restaurants, bars and other activities.
Wells Fargo Center says between the three games, they expect to sell 25,000 beers, 10,500 souvenir sodas, and because it is Philly after all, some 900 Delco Steaks.
“Besides the rooms and the economic impact, I think the big thing for us it’s the morale. We’re just coming out of a pandemic,” Grose said.
The easiest way to get to the games is SEPTA. The Broad Street Line brings you to the sports complex. SEPTA is adding additional service system-wide so folks can get to the games and get home.
“So if we’re going into double overtime or something really exciting, don’t worry about it, your train is going to be there,” SEPTA spokesperson Andrew Busch said.MORE NEWS: Police: 4-Year-Old In Stable But Critical Condition After Being Struck By SUV In West Philly
Philadelphia has hosted the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament a near-record 28 times.