TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The hotel industry in Tuscaloosa is getting a boost from March Madness, as fans book rooms and commute to the games at Legacy Arena in Birmingham.

Haley McBride is the general manager at Towneplace Suites by Marriott on McFarland Boulevard. He says he appreciates the extra business and customers staying in 25 of his 93 rooms are basketball fans.

“What drove that was the rates are higher in Birmingham so people have been shopping around in other towns and saw how high they were going to be there so they started booking early because the rates were going to be more expensive there,” McBride said.

According to McBride, some Birmingham hotels are charging guests between $250 to $400 dollars per night during the NCAA tournament. Towneplace Suites by Marriott has a lower rate starting at $149 to $165 for a room.  He says the extra business is good for his business and for Tuscaloosa.

“It’s not just us here at Marriott, it’s also the restaurants here in town that are getting some of that boost as well,” McBride said. “Because they are coming here and are going downtown to spend money to eat and will visit the shops so overall that tournament is boosting our economy for our hotel and others in Tuscaloosa.”

Towneplace Suites by Marriott is nearly booked full and McBride says they might run out of rooms soon if more tournament fans continue to book with them.