DES MOINES, Iowa — Thousands hit the metro during Des Moines’ last day hosting the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
“It’s that Midwest hospitality; everyone can come down here and have a good time,” Iowa City resident Seth Girton said.
The streets were packed with folks heading in and out of Wells Fargo Arena. Both games Saturday were sold out.
During the end of the Michigan State–Minnesota game, CBS analyst Reggie Miller praised Des Moines for the support and hospitality the city gave for the tournament.
“The best site I’ve ever been a part of, and always needs to be in the regular rotation,” said Miller of Des Moines.
Near the end of the CBS broadcast of Minnesota-Michigan State, Reggie Miller weighs in on the NCAA Tournament in Des Moines:
“The best site I’ve ever been a part of, and always needs to be in the regular rotation.”
— Mark Freund (@MarkFreundTV) March 24, 2019
With so many people flocking to the city for the games, people weren’t just spending money on tickets. They also spent money on things like restaurants and hotels, and the Des Moines Partnership estimates the tournament could generate more than $6 million for the local economy.
“Things have been really smooth. We’ve prepared for this for months, so now that it’s here it’s just a matter of taking care of people and being on our game,” said Buzzard Billy’s manager Chad Brown.
Some fans hope Iowa gets the bid again soon in the future.