SEC Women's Tournament Boosts Greenville's Economy

The South Eastern Conference women's basketball tourney is meaning big bucks to Greenville

Greenville, South Carolina (WLTX) -- For the first time since 2005, fans of 14 teams traveled to Greenville for the SEC women's basketball tournament, creating an economic boom for the city.

"The first thing everyone wanted to tell me was how much they're enjoying the community," said VisitGreenvilleSC president, Chris Stone.

Besides sitting inside the arena, cheering for their favorite team, there are a number of attractions in the city, including the Greenville Zoo and the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

"There is so much going on here that we are proud to show people," said Fabian Unterzaucher, the general manager of The Westin.

The excitement isn't just coming from the basketball teams and their fans. It is also coming from the local businesses.

"You can feel the excitement. You can just look around and see the foot traffic and just the excitement and hustle and bustle in the air," said Alison Grindstone, manager of Grill Mark's.

Hotels have been booked solid for months and restaurants added extra staff during the day to accommodate the flow of customers. It may have been more than a decade for Greenville to host a college basketball tournament, but locals believe they've made an impression.

"We're getting a lot of people who come and say, 'Hey, we've had a great time that we are going to come back.' That is a huge compliment for us that we are proud to carry forward," said Stone.

The SEC women's basketball tournament wraps up on Sunday with the championship game at 3 pm. Greenville will have a little bit to breathe, but then on March 12 th, the first round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament kicks off and Greenville is one of the sites. It will be a busy month, but the locals are embracing it.

 

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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