How are Syracuse Businesses Preparing for NCAA Basketball?

Mar 26, 2015

Shaq Johnson holds up a basketball t-shirt in Manny's on Marshall Street.
Credit John Smith

Syracuse businesses are getting ready to host thousands of out-of-town basketball fans who have come to Central New York for the NCAA Tournament.  The Carrier Dome hosts the East regional finals on Friday night and many local businesses are making some last minute preparations.

Emily Whealan, a manager at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, said that includes preparing more food and using a large screen projector to show the games. 

"We've actually ordered extra food, loaded the smokers up for above average food quantities for everything," Whealan said.  "We have two private party rooms upstairs that are not being utilized private parties Saturday and Sunday so we're opening them up for overflow."

The first game on Friday is between Louisville and NC State, a pair of Syracuse's ACC rivals. Then, Michigan State faces Oklahoma, a team that eliminated the Orange back in 2009. 

Syracuse isn't in the NCAA Tournament this season, but Bill Nester said that having the NCAA Tournament in Syracuse is a good alternative.  Nester is the co-owner of Manny's on Marshall Street, a popular sports merchandising store.  He predicts that his sales for the Sweet Sixteen games will be similar to a weekend when Syracuse has a big home game. 

"We are going to sell a lot of Syracuse stuff on top of the four Sweet Sixteen shirts that we have," Nester said.  "Versus us just going to the Sweet Sixteen, you really can't compare the business that we're going to gain from having  the regionals here."

At Faegan's, the employees just want to keep the bar's usual ambience.  Supervisor Brianna Adams said otherwise they’re already prepared because, after all, Syracuse is a college sports city. One of the only changes will be banners welcoming fans of visiting teams.  

"This place is already surrounded by fans and sports," Adams said.  "It's just the energy that everybody brings in when they are all in town is enough where you feel it. They ring the bell when someone scores. Whatever's going on, you can just feel it in here."