MAAC tournament helping downtown businesses - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

MAAC tournament helping downtown businesses

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

The downtown streets have been busy the past four days, as the Mass Mutual Center has played host to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament.

Both the MAAC women's and men's tournaments will crown their champion on Monday.

In the meantime, the people here to watch the tournament are getting to see Springfield, and for some, it is the first time.

One Iona fan from New York told CBS 3 that he and his family have enjoyed their Western Massachusetts experience.

"We went to a couple of places last night downtown," said Matt Rizzetta. "We took a day trip into Connecticut with the kids before we got here. It was nice. It's a good venue, too. I think the arena is perfect size for the conference. It's good to see the schools well-represented through the conference. We're having a good time so far."

The influx of teams and their fans has provided a boost in business for places like JT's on Main Street.

The sports pub's co-owner, Keith Makarowski, said tournaments like the MAAC make a big difference this time of year.

"It would be considerably less [busy]," said Makarowski. "If you take a look around, we've got a good Sunday afternoon here, which wouldn't be the case otherwise."

This marks the third and final year for the MAAC tournament in Springfield, as the event moves to Albany, NY, next year.

Mass Mutual Center officials said that while they do not have a tournament lined up for next year, they are continuously pursuing those kind of events.

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