Hotels Fill as Teams, Fans Flood into Oklahoma City
Guests are checked into their rooms as they arrive for the Big 12 Tournament.
Men's teams are already in town, including the Baylor Bears.
By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The men's Big 12 teams are now in Oklahoma City and the women's teams are coming, meaning hotel space is filling up fast.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the tournament brings about 25,000 people downtown, many of them coming back day after day and many of them needing a place to stay.
Commerce officials estimate, in all, the tournament will impact more than 14,000 rooms at 30 different hotels across the city, putting many of them at, or near capacity.
"It means all of our employees are working. When all of our employees are working, they're getting good paychecks, and they're going out and they're spending," Skirvin General Manager John Williams said. "They're paying their rent, they're buying cars."
Big 12 basketball has such a loyal following, even at schools that aren't really known for basketball.
"We have to get past Baylor in the first one," Nebraska fan Garland Grosse said. "We got Kansas in the semis and if we can do that, we got it made."
When the tournament was in Oklahoma City two years ago, it reportedly pumped $42 million into local economy. This year it's estimated between $40 million and %45 million, despite the poor national economy.
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