Marsh Madness impacts SWLA

Marsh Madness impacts SWLA
Burton Coliseum. (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
Burton Coliseum. (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - As Marsh Madness winds down at Burton Coliseum this weekend, officials say they're seeing some of the economic impacts.

It's been a busy past two weeks for Jason Barnes, General Manager of the Burton Complex.

"Marsh Madness is a set of tournaments that are the boys and the girls top 28 semi finals and final competitions in basketball," said Barnes.

Basically, the best of the best are here in Lake Charles for the two-week Marsh Madness tournament.

And officials say they're impressed with the turn-out.

"The girls tournament was very successful we had 19,474 total attendance. We were figuring 20,000 so we weren't very far off from that mark," said Eric Zartler, Acting Sales Director for the Lake Charles SWLA Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Zartler says the boy's turnout has been a bit slower.

"We're a little over 12,000 right now for the first three days of the boys which isn't exactly where we hoped to be with it, but again it's all luck of the draw, depends what teams win and make it to this point," said Zartler.

While the tournament draws in players and their families, attendees come from all over the state.

"North Caddo was here for both boys and girls so they're all the way up from the Shreveport area, Richwood from all the way in the Monroe area, several New Orleans teams, Baton Rouge, all over the state. The state's pretty well represented," explained Zartler.

And with a capacity of about 8,000 people at Burton Coliseum, it definitely means an impact to our local economy.

All those concession sales, from food and drinks to programs and t-shirts, translate to dollars for SWLA.

"Many of whom are staying in hotel rooms, going out to restaurants, and really just enjoying what all SWLA has to offer," said Barnes.

"I mean everywhere you look in town right now there's yellow school buses or charter buses in hotel parking lots, at the restaurants, they're everywhere, they're all over town, and they've been around for two weeks now. It's a nice sight to see," said Zartler.

While official figures won't be out until next week, the crowd's are still here, as the championship tournament concludes tomorrow.

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