Local businesses to feel effects of no fans at NCAA Tournament


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Concerns over COVID-19 has prompted NCAA to bar fans from all March Madness Basketball games.

The City of Albany is still hosting the games March 19 and 21, but players will compete in front of an empty audience.

The event was sold out. The impact of the move will be felt the hardest on Albany County businesses. This will also hurt the sales tax revenue.

“It’s going to be felt. It’s going to be like the recession, like the recession of ’08, ’09, and it could be worse than that,” said Albany County Executive Dan McCoy.

Bars and restaurants around the area are now overstocked and overstaffed.

“We’re trying to figure out exactly what we should be expecting because the games still are happening. It’s just families and coaches and close people to the team,” said Assistant Manager of City Beer Hall Jessica Delany.

Owner of McGeary’s, Tess Collins, is in a similar situation over being overstaffed and overstocked.

“We’ve been really excited about having this downtown. We haven’t had it in years. There’s been a huge hype for it,” Collins said. “It’s just going to change everything about what we do next week,” Collins said.

Times Union Center was notified of the changes last minute and said in a statement it will offer refunds.


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