by: Tony Atkins Updated:
MEMPHIS - The “big dance” is days away from tip-off, right here in the Bluff City.
Thousands are expected make the trip to Memphis to cheer on their teams in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8.
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"For Memphis, I think it's awesome,” said Gil Collins. “It brings a lot of revenue into the city."
Thousands are expected to pack the FedEx Forum for an entire two rounds of march madness.
"It's going to be huge,” said Brandon Lasowski.
Lasowski is visiting from Little Rock. He says he's no stranger to the NCAA tournament and like many others, he's trying to be there next weekend.
"We come here from grizzlies games regularly and we've been looking at tickets for Sunday,” Lasowski said.
Thousands of students, fans and alums are expected to be downtown, supporting their teams... It's something Ken Taylor of the Beale Street merchants association is bracing for.
“We’re definitely prepared for that type of crowd here in Memphis,” Taylor said.
The last time they had had to prepare like this was around New Year’s Eve when 35,000 hit the streets.
As for the tournament, Taylor says more police will be around to help keep the peace.
“Any time we have an event like this, we want to make sure that our number one focus is security," Taylor said.
Taylor says MPD installed four new Sky Cop cameras in the past few months. Also, side alleys adjacent to Beale street bars now have more lights.
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