TheUNL Bureau of Business Research estimates that state basketball has a $5.3million economic impact on Lincoln.
Tournament officials say that’s why they work closely with the convention andvisitors bureau to make sure what happens off the court is a good experiencefor fans and players too.
“It’s not where we just show up on Thursday and throw the balls out and play,there’s a lot of planning and a lot of organizational work that takes placebefore hand,” says NSAA Assistant Director Jon Dolliver.
City officials say new hotels, restaurants, parking, and changes in theHaymarket and downtown will give visitors new exposure to Lincoln when theyleave the game.
“We had close to 60,000 here last week for the girls and the boys is going tobe upwards of 90-100,000 people in Lincoln for three straight days, it has aneconomic impact,” says Dolliver. “Ourfans, when they come here, they enjoy partaking in all of the amenities thatare what Lincoln has to offer with the Haymarket and the Railyard area.”
Dolliver says there’s new things at the tournament this year for teams too,including the Pinnacle Bank Arena and a revamped Bob Devaney Sports Center.
“It’s a big event and it’s very important to these kids and these communitieswhen they do come to Lincoln, it’s a memory of a lifetime for them,” he says.
Lincoln will host the tournament four more years before if comes up for bidagain.
Besides Devaney and the PBA, they used four Lincoln high schools – two duringthe girls tournament and two others during the boys – for play.