ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Commissioner Rich Ensor tweeted on Tuesday that tickets to the NCAA men’s March Madness Tournament are sold out.
The MAAC and Siena College are co-hosting the first and second round games, which take place on March 19 and March 21.
“A sell out event at the times union center for multiple days and multiple events is a big deal,” said Discover Albany President Jill Delaney.
Thousands are expected to pack the streets during the tournament. Delaney said the boost in tourism is also good for residents.
“When there’s a bit of a crunch and a pinch in traffic just remember it’s for the greater good,” Delaney said. “Tourism for Albany County saves every household $1000 in taxes each year,” Delaney said.
The numbers for 2019 aren’t in yet, but Delaney said one billion dollars in visitor spending was recorded in 2018. It’s something Delaney said is a first for the county.
This is the first time the arena will host a men’s tournament game since Syracuse won the East Regional in 2003. The Orange went on to win the national championship that year.
“We’ve done all these events with Albany before an obviously especially with the last two years hosting the women’s basketball regional has been huge,” said Associate Commissioner for Men’s Basketball Jordan Confessore. “It was really exciting for us to do it in Albany and I think bringing in this type of men’s basketball back has been huge,” Confessore said.
MAAC officials were in Albany Tuesday for a planning meeting to discuss tournament details and logistics.