HS tourney brings bucks to ABQ area

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – When the 2014 U.S. Bank State Basketball Championships tip off at The Pit, Santa Ana Star Center and Bernalillo High School on Tuesday, girls and boys teams from all corners of the state will be here in the metro trying to take home a state title.

And because most of those squads aren’t from the Albuquerque area, that means a big boost for some businesses in the metro.

Players, families and fans who drive in from hours away need places to stay. That’s good news for hotels, although they’re not the only type of business that benefits from the five-day event.

“They’re all going to go out to eat because they don’t have anyplace else to go,” said Carol Wight, CEO of the New Mexico Restaurant Association.

Wight says restauranteurs love the state hoops tournament for that reason. But unlike Balloon Fiesta, which Wight says boosts everybody, this event tends to have the biggest effect on certain establishments.

“Those restaurants that cater to younger people really benefit,” Wight said. “I think you’re looking at everything from quick-service to buffet dining. I would think Dion’s and some other pizza places are gonna do very well during the state tournament.”

However, while Balloon Fiesta and the tournament both benefit the city, the state as a whole doesn’t see the same kind of boost through the tournament.

“It’s kind of trading money around because you’re just bringing money from other parts of the state into Albuquerque,” Wight said.

The state tournament runs from Tuesday through Saturday.

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