BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — March Madness is coming back to Birmingham in 2023.
The NCAA, along with Mayor Randall Woodfin, made the announcement on Wednesday.
Businesses, hotels, and restaurants of all types are excited for this news as 2020 has been a tough year on all of their industries.
“It’s going to be a huge sigh of relief to get some foot traffic through here,” said Grayson Small, manager of Ghost Train Brewery.
Small said the foot traffic coming from the tournament’s in the coming years will be huge for all business.
“We say bring it on,” he said. “We are excited. We are all about putting on putting our product in as many hands as possible.”
In some ways, Small said having March Madness in Birmingham is something he has always wanted.
“I’ve lived here my whole life. I’ve been a basketball fan my whole life. And if at all possible, I’d hope to attend,” he said.
Men’s Division 1 Basketball will have the first two rounds play in 2023 while Division 1 Women’s Basketball will host the South Regional in 2025. The games will be played at the BJCC’s Legacy Arena.
Woodfin said the revenue earned from these events will be vital for the city’s development.
“With the renovation you see behind me, and with the expansion of the BJCC, it is fair to say that we are firmly back in the game and committed to competing for top tier sporting and entertaining events right here in Birmingham,” Woodfin said.
Small is ready for the world to see what Birmingham has to offer.
“I’m ready looking forward to some of these people seeing the new and improved Birmingham,” he said.
Legacy Arena’s renovations should be complete and open by 2022.
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