Indianapolis prepares for Final Four weekend

Thursday, April 2, 2015
Indianapolis gets ready for Final Four
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It won't be long before Indianapolis is swarming with basketball fans

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTVD) -- It won't be long before Indianapolis is swarming with basketball fans.

The city is putting the finishing touches on several free events for visitors like the March Madness Music Fest featuring some of music's biggest names.

Businesses are ready to cash-in. Workers at pop-up souvenir shop JEB Enterprises are frantically unloading March Madness merchandise.

"Basketballs, little necklaces, pins, and of course t-shirts which are our biggest seller because everyone wants to take one back to people who are waiting at home," said sales associate Kara Krumwiede.

For more than 20 years, owner Jon Bovold has followed major sporting events, travelling the country to sell his products.

Sales were off to a slower than normal start Thursday thanks to the rain.

Once the skies clear, though, Brovold is prepared to be busy.

"That's an understatement, it's going to be crazy this weekend if the weather holds up," Brovold said.

More than 70,000 people are expected to pack into Indianapolis, which translates to big bucks for local businesses.

"With so many more fans coming into the city without a game ticket, we anticipate it's about a $70.8 million economic impact for this weekend," said Morgan Greenlee with Visit Indy.

Indianapolis is no rookie when it comes to hosting the men's Final Four...and the crows that come with it.

Now it's in its seventh year. The city is ready to once again welcome fans with a little Hoosier hospitality.

"We're a city that loves sporting events. We hosted Final Fours and Big Ten Tournaments and football championships," Greenlee said. "We are rolling out the red carpet...I guess for Duke, blue carpet."

Duke players arrived late Wednesday night. They spent Thursday practicing.

Meanwhile, about 700 Duke students plan to join them.

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