BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — For the first time in 15 years, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament will return to Birmingham.

Teams will compete at Legacy Arena March 16 and 18.

Birmingham City Councilor Darrel O’Quinn said that while it is not known how much money the tournament will bring, the economic impact to the city could be worth millions of dollars.

O’Quinn said the tournament will also give Birmingham national exposure.

“This is the type of thing we want to be seen in Birmingham; it’s definitely a step forward and a big deal for the city to have this athletic competition,” O’Quinn said.

Local business owners are also looking forward to the tournament. Gus’ World Famous Fried Chicken Delyne Hatcher said the restaurant has already begun preparations for the tournament.

“We’re looking at a 50- to 75% growth that week, so we’re preparing for it,” Hatcher said. “Our team is ready for that, and I just got to get the product in that week and make sure we’re ready for it.”

Crystal Peterson, owner of Yo Mama’s, believes all restaurants in the city will benefit from the tournament.

“It’s going to perk up, and everyone will get a 25- to 30% boost that week, so it will be the spike we need,” Peterson said.

Gene Hallman, president and CEO of the Bruno Event Team, said the $125 million renovation of Legacy Arena played a significant part in bringing the tournament back to Birmingham.

“I think this will be the beginning where we’re in the tournament every so often, much like we were in the 80s and 90s,” Hallman said.

John Oros, president and CEO of the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the renovations to Legacy Arena open the door for more future opportunities.

“A lot of these conferences that are headquartered in the southeast could be looking to have their conference tournaments here, and that puts us in the ball game for those kinds of opportunities,” Oros said.