LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Whether they came to cheer on their team or just to watch good basketball, thousands of fans packed into Rupp Wednesday night for the first round of the tournament.
The tournament has already brought a lot of foot traffic into downtown businesses. Drivers, players and local businesses will certainly have a busy week.
Outside the Lexington Center, crews were preparing to handle parking and traffic as early as 9:00 on Wednesday morning. Inside, businesses were also busy setting up shop.
Some employees say this week is one they look forward to each year and it’s also one of the busiest. Similar to a UK game day, the tournament also brings in a lot of foot traffic.
With so many families coming in from all over the state, local businesses typically see higher sales.
"We're very excited about this week with the sweet sixteen being here," says Barbara Mucci, a store manager at Cat Couture. "This is going to be our first run for this, but we anticipate a lot of business. It's like having a game day, but for five days straight."
During the tournament, crews will suspend blasting at the CentrePointe project. Blasting will resume on Monday.