Wildcats' first-round loss costly to Tucson economy

Wildcats' first-round loss costly to Tucson economy
(Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Buffalo upset Arizona Thursday night, leaving many in Tucson with a hoops hangover.

The Wildcats were routed in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and the loss may have cost southern Arizona hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The loss means fewer customers for area restaurants, sports bars and clubs.

It's simple March Madness economics.

The deeper Arizona goes in the tournament, the more fans spend on booze and meals. More wins also mean more fans are buying Wildcat T-shirts, hats and other memorabilia.

For most of us, a first-round loss results in a busted bracket or maybe a bit of anger and frustration.

A deep run may have meant extra cash for business owners or a couple of more shifts for bartenders or waitresses.

But that's all gone now.

"It's going to affect business definitely on this entire block, on 4th Avenue straight down through Congress," said Frog and Firkin's Ronan Madi.

Madi said it could mean a loss of a thousand customers this weekend alone, as well as a loss of $40,000 in profit.

He said the Wildcats still have his support.

"They get my support 100 percent," he said. "(I) got my heart broken by it, but things happen."

Things do happen.

Arizona has been in the tournament more than 30 times in recent years and the Wildcats have lost in the first round 13 times.

While business owners were planning and hoping for a long run by the Wildcats, they never count their money until it is in their pockets.

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