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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
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March Madness Brings More Business to Downtown

With two NCAA basketball championship games being played at Staples Center, nearby businesses are getting a boost.

NCAA March Madness is in town for two Sweet 16 games at the Staples Center. 

No. 1 seed Wisconsin and 4 seed North Carolina tipped off at 4:47 p.m., while No. 2 seed Arizona faced 6 seed Xavier after that game. 

The big match-ups at Staples Center are bringing in fans of these teams from across the country. 

University of Wisconsin senior Eric Seifriz came down from Madison, Wisconsin, to see the game. He's been a Wisconsin fan since before he went to school there. 

"I'm a Badger for life," said University of Wisconsin student Eric Seifriz. "This is the best team we've probably ever had and probably the best team we will ever have, so I had to come." 

Businesses near Staples Center are preparing to see increased crowds. Nearby El Cholo restaurant already gets a lot of business, but they expect it to go up about 35% with the games happening on Thursday. 

"The Lakers aren't doing that well, so that's affecting business, too. We've very busy, almost more than when the Lakers and Clippers [play] sometimes. It brings us more business," said El Cholo's Downtown L.A. location manager, Ricardo Avila. 

A business expert points this increase in business to people staying for more than the game. 

"Some [people] tend to travel quite some distance, but even peole who come from...Southern California have to budget for traffic," said business economics expert Lars Perner. "That means they have time to spend at local restaurants, bars and other establishments." 

Whoever wins these games at Staples Center will move on to the Elite 8.

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