Fargo area economy boosted as thousands attend NCAA regionals

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — The NCAA hockey tournament is at Scheels Arena.

“I’ve never been to Fargo before, first time. We probably won’t do much, we did hear about going to a Sandy’s Donut shop, we might have to check that out,” says hockey fan Bonnie Blair-Cruikshank.

Blair-Cruikshank, better known as Bonnie Blair, competed in the 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1994 Winter Olympics. She is considered one of the greatest speed skaters of her era, winning five gold medals and one bronze medal.

“I hope for two wins. That’s what I’m looking forward to. I think the boys are thinking the same thing. I know we got a big parent group that’s here following our kids and are very excited to be a part of it all,” said Blair-Cruikshank.

The Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau sent hotels some decor featuring mascot colors and logos, so teams can feel a little more at home.

Hotels across the city have been busy, bringing in extra staffing to accommodate teams and giving fans tips on where to go for food and entertainment.

“We were able to get them the different meals they requested on that short-term notice. Bringing in extra staff, making sure we’re covered on that. We have a few more housekeepers on hand this week just in case they need anything,”

The sales director, Cristina Mccoy, is overseeing the team hotels and says they’ve already made 50% more in revenue compared to a normal week.

“Just by having the teams in house, it’s a large number. So, all of our properties, just being able to have those teams is a benefit and pretty awesome. We have seen an increase in business just because of the NCAA which has been incredible, not only for our properties but for the community.” said McCoy.

The CVB expects tournament fans to spend up to $700,000 through Saturday.

“This is the first time in five times that we’ve hosted this event in the community that we’ve hosted three teams within driving distance of the arena. We love teams that fly in just to expose them to our community and all we have to offer. At the same time, with the driving teams and drivability for those fanbases, we expect more out of town fans to converge on the community this weekend,” said Kali Mork, the Director of Sports at the F-M CVB.

The winners of today’s games will face off Saturday and the winner of that one heads to Tampa, Florida for the Frozen Four.

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