GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Greensboro is getting ready to host tens of thousands of spectators for six games of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship on Friday and Sunday.
The Greensboro Coliseum is hosting games for the 13th time. Coliseum officials said half of the 20,000 expected to attend are from out of town.
"If you want to see basketball, you want to be in the hotbed of the NCAA tournament. Greensboro Coliseum is the place to be," said Scott Johnson, deputy director of the Greensboro Coliseum.
The tournament is expected to bring in around $15 million to the City of Greensboro this weekend.
Chip Stamey, who owns Stamey's BBQ Restaurant, said he expects a 35 percent increase in customers and sales.
"Regular business is good, but when you can get this crowd that comes into town like this, this really makes it special," Stamey said.
Tickets are still available for all the games. There will be a free shuttle bus service Friday and Sunday running from the Sheraton Hotel at Four Seasons Mall to the coliseum. It will run from 6 a.m. to midnight both days.
The Thursday practice sessions are free and open to the public. The coliseum doors open at 11 a.m. Alabama will be the first to practice at noon.
The two North Carolina teams will practice in the afternoon--Duke at 2:15 p.m. and Duke at 4:25 p.m.
Xavier will be the last team to practice at 6:40 p.m.
The other teams in town will be Notre Dame, Creighton, Lehigh and the winner of the Lamar-Vermont game on Tuesday.