(Memphis) If you love a good game of basketball, you’re in luck, because the NCAA South Regional Tournament starts in Memphis Thursday.
Tickets went on sale Wednesday.
Because the tournament falls on a Thursday and Friday, and because the teams playing, some say a smaller crowd of fans will be coming to town.
On Beale Street, the signs are up and flags are flying high, welcoming Sweet 16 teams to Memphis, but when it comes to basketball fans from out of town, WREG was hard-pressed to find them.
We found Jonathon Colen and Chris Nguen, who are with Standford’s bandm and David Pingalore, a sports anchor covering the tournament for Orlando’s CBS affiliate.
“You got two teams, UCLA and Stanford, that are not going to travel,” said Pingalore. “Kansas is not here and Jayhawk fans certainly would have driven here.”
In fact, all teams that made it to the South Regional Tournament in Memphis had tickets left over in their allotments. That means fans who might have flown out from California and spent money here decided to stay home.
Pingalore also doesn’t expect a packed house with fans from Florida either.
“I think Gator fans are a little more spoiled than most basketball fans because they have been in the Sweet 16 now for the last four years so I think they are probably saving-up for next week thinking they are going to get to Dallas for the national championship.”
Still, any basketball tournament next to Beale is good for business.
“A lot of revenue and a lot of good tips too so that is good for us,” said Justin Chandler, a waiter for Blues City Café.
Also, making it to Memphis is a big deal to those who came.
“First Sweet 16 since 2009,” said Nguen of Standford.
“It’s huge for us. The team is playing great,” said Colen.
If you are interested in watching the tournament, session tickets are $160.