Blacksburg, Va – The Blacksburg community is buzzing with news of the Virginia Tech Women’s Basketball team scoring a number one seed in the NCAA tournament.
While Cassell Coliseum will be packed with players and fans for the tournament, the impact goes well beyond campus.
Michael Buchanan is the owner of Souvlaki’s, one of the oldest restaurants in Blacksburg.
“NCAA games here will be a big bonus for us. It’ll probably bring in at least 10,000 fans each game,” Buchanan said.
Souvlaki’s has been around for 40 years and has seen many big games.
“Football season is a big boom for us as far as business goes, and basketball both the men’s and women’s has really picked up,” he said.
Benny Marzano’s, a pizza staple in Blacksburg, has also seen the impacts of sporting events on their business.
Joey Porhoska works at Benny’s and said they have to do more to prepare.
“We always have to prepare on the labor side, but also on the food and supply side. It’s definitely something that we have to take into consideration,” Porhoska said.
He said while more people do bring in more money, having a small building brings concerns.
“People staying in the store affects it, because if people aren’t walking out, it makes it harder to get slices off the counter,” he said.
But Porhoska said they’re used to the influx.
“It doesn’t matter how many people you have on staff. It’s going to be busy no matter what,” he said. “With how busy it is during football season, and just late night to late night, it’s something we’re always prepared for.”
Buchanan said that even though it’s busy, the business is worth it.
“I think the more people you can get in town the better,” he said.
The Hokies will play Friday at 5:30 p.m. against Chattanooga. Tickets for the first and second-round games in Blacksburg are already sold out.