COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The opening two rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at Nationwide Arena have come to a close, with thousands of fans coming from all over to cheer on their teams and take in all that Columbus has to offer.
As the weekend comes to a close, fans and businesses are looking back at everything that took place over the last four days. Whether it was their first time visiting, or they’re a regular, people had nothing but positive things to say.
“I love Columbus,” said Dustin Raugh, a Florida Atlantic fan. “We’ve eaten at Forno twice. Phenomenal places all around the city, but all in all, Columbus has been fun.”
“Lots of exciting and fun times,” said Sean Furstenberg, who was in town with his son Ryan to cheer on Marquette.
Whistle and Keg, a restaurant near the arena, loved the increase in business.
“We wish this was happening every weekend,” owner Joe Thomas said. “I mean, it’s been crazy. People coming from all over. As far as we’re concerned, we wish this was happening every weekend. I think it exceeded the expectations.”
At Boston’s, just a few hundred yards away, business was booming.
“It’s been great, definitely been great,” said manager Halee Wray. “Probably the best this year. I’ve been here for almost six years and I was here for the last tournament we had and this, I think, was even a little bit better than that.”
As people head home or prepare to follow their team on the road, they’re looking back with only positives about Columbus.
“The food is good, the Uber works well, so all around, a good city,” Furstenberg said.
Many fans said Sunday that they’re planning to go with their team to the Sweet 16, with games in New York City, Louisville, Kansas City, and Vegas. Those games are scheduled to start Thursday.
However, March Madness has one more game in Columbus as the Ohio State University women’s team faces North Carolina Monday at 4 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.