Local communities anticipate economic boost from women's basketball games


Michigan Street in Downtown South Bend has a new name this weekend.

The street is temporarily called Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Kentucky and Baylor Drive.

The new name is in honor of the NCAA Women's Basketball Regionals happening Saturday and Monday at Purcell Pavilion.

The arena seats more than 9,000 people and most of the tickets were gone weeks ago.

The Notre Dame women's basketball team has a perfect record.

On Saturday afternoon they play Oklahoma State.

Kentucky will play Baylor here too.

Payton Erlemeijer is a Notre Dame student. She doesn't have a ticket to the game this weekend but she's been to other games and considers herself a big fan.

She says, "It's very exciting to be part of something where we can say they're number one so all my different friends at other colleges we get to brag to them and say that we're the winners."

Events like the women's basketball games help to boost the local economy.

An organization called Visit South Bend-Mishawaka has a new online tool that estimates just how much.

Here's how it works.

They put in the start and end date which is based on when the teams come and go.

Then, they enter in the number of overnight, daily and local visitors.

After that, you put in an average room rate like $109 per night.

Figure in the taxes and then calculate.

For the NCAA women's basketball games they think there will be about 1,500 overnight visitors.

Even if there were no daily or local visitors the calculator shows an economic impact of more than $1.2 million.

It even breaks it down by how much goes to lodging, food, transportation and other categories.

Mark Neal is the Deputy Mayor for South Bend and he says, "I think it's also a chance for us to show off what's going on in South Bend and all the good things happening here."