On Thursday, The MAAC will be back in Springfield for a second time.
In a city that is known as the birthplace of basketball, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference means business.
"This is a big event for the community. It brings a lot of visitors in from out of town...fans from various teams will be coming in from all over the area," said Matt Hollander, General Manager of the MassMutual Center.
Ten college teams will be facing off in 18 championship games in this year's five-day, Division 1 college basketball tournament.
In 2012, around 20,000 people from Northern New York to Maryland visited the city for this event.
Not only does this tournament bring more people into the city, but it also allows local businesses to rake in cash.
"For us, it adds about 20 percent increase in sales, each day that the tournament is going on," Keith Weppler, owner of Theodores.
Although the tournament hasn't started yet, restaurants, like Theodores on Worthington St., are already getting booked.
"We're doing an alumni function tomorrow night for Loyola, and we have the Manhattan band coming in for dinner tomorrow night, as well. As the week goes on, we'll get other functions as teams win or lose," Weppler said.
As businesses prepare for the flood of basketball-fans to walk through their doors on Thursday, the MassMutual Center has also been putting on its final touches. MassMutual representatives told CBS 3 that the center feels more prepared than ever to host the event.
"It's a lot more comfortable going into the week this year. Last year was the first time we hosted it. There are a lot of ancillary activities...a lot of things going on in and around the championship that go well beyond the basketball games. We're a lot more familiar with that now... I think this year we're going to do even better," Hollander said.
The MassMutual Center will be hosting the event again in 2014.
The conference will run through Sunday.
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