Friday, March 21, 2014

A note from the Madness

Made the roadie for all 4 games in Milwaukee yesterday, and as usual, it was enjoyable if a bit tiring (hey, you attend 10 hours of hoops with no beer being sold!). And downtown was hopping, including the morning session, where our sojourn into Turner Hall around 11am found the place a madhouse filled with people in red. According to the Journal-Sentinel, it was one of many places in the Cream City reaping the benefits of having the greatest annual sporting event in America in town.
At AJ Bombers on Water St., Thursday was a really good day.

The restaurant served 315 cheeseburgers, around double the daily amount.

"It was packed. We had a line out the door," said Ryan Packard, a manager. "We sold more beers than we do on a typical weekend day."

Over at Molly Cool's on N. Old World 3rd St., they were filled for breakfast on Thursday, as 110 American University alums showed up. The fans were serenaded by 30 members of the school's band and 15 cheerleaders.

"After the Badgers game, it was standing room only," said Stacey Fleming, director of sales and marketing
I can also attest that the picture in the article from Buck Bradley's is not between games around 4:30, because you couldn't have fit another person in that place at that time. And given the good weather today, I'm very happy to see Milwaukee get a chance to show itself off to a number of out-of-towners, as it is a great city (regardless of what the race-baiters on AM radio try to tell you).

And as the article mentions, the Big Dance is in town at an opportune time for the downtown eateries and hotels, as the Bucks continue to be at the bottom of the NBA standings and NBA attendance, and Marquette hoops now faces uncertain future with coach Buzz Williams making a surprising move to ACC bottom-feeder Virginia Tech. So I'm glad the area and its many tipped workers are getting the help.

But may I also remind you that city government will not get an extra dime of tax revenue from being such good hosts of this event, and the only benefit can come later in the form of positive word of mouth and better business prospects that result. That won't stop me from (hopefully) having a great time in the city tomorrow for two interesting second-round games, and I hope you do the same, but it's something worth keeping in mind as you enjoy the Milwaukee Madness.

P.S. And can the NCAA stop the greed with the extra minute of TV timeouts? It turns a 2-hour game into 2:15, and reduces the enjoyment of those of us who shell out to watch the games. Learn the economic principle of scarcity and charge more for less ads if you have to.

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