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Eagles postseason run creating electric buzz downtown

Updated: Mar. 28, 2019 at 5:46 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - All the USI fans are creating an electric atmosphere downtown.

Bars, restaurants and hotels are reaping the benefits. So is Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, as national eyes are put on the city.

Fans set a NCAA Division II record for Wednesday’s game. City leaders said this could start a precedent for sports in the River City.

“You see everyone pouring in and all of the sudden you see the drape from the upper bowl being opened you think oh my gosh people are still coming in," explains Mayor Winnecke. "So we were all trying to guess the final number.”

“Indiana has such a rich tradition with basketball," Eric Marvin, Evansville Sports Corp, says. "Evansville has such a rich tradition with basketball.”

Visitors and locals fueling the economy by staying in hotels, eating in restaurants, and celebrating at bars before and after games.

“The excitement in downtown during these tournaments is off the charts," says Mayor Winnecke. "It’s really a great way for the city to promote itself.”

Between the OVC Championship and the NCAA DII Tournament, the city is laying a foundation for the future.

“We have the OVC Championships back again in 2020," explains Marvin. "We’ve got the DII Championships for the next three years as well. We hope to continue to build on this success with both of those events. We also hope we can attract new events.”

Made possible only with the outpouring of community support.

USI’s Athletic Director says the first 750 students, maybe more, will get in free so we’ll be keeping an eye on how that affects the turnout.

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