Downtown businesses gear up for Final Four weekend | Cronkite News

Downtown businesses gear up for Final Four weekend | Cronkite News

In three years the Valley has hosted some of the nation’s top sporting events from the superbowl to the college football championship and now the Final Four. Cronkite News reporter Ryan Curry went around downtown Phoenix to see how local stores and restaurants are preparing for another year of sporting activities. Street food restaurant The Park has been open for just two months in downtown Phoenix but with the Final Four in town this week sales manager Stephanie Willson hopes the large crowds the event is expected to bring will help the restaurant raise its profile. We’re a baby and we’re kind of learning every day you know how downtown Phoenix receives us and we’ve only been open for a couple months and we’re really excited. I think the Final Four can be a great way to kick things off because the comes Sunday’s opening day for baseball as well so we’re going to be ready for those baseball fans. As part of that effort The Park worked with the NCAA and Visit Phoenix to become the official fan center this weekend for the Oregon Ducks a team that’s making its first Final Four appearance at over 70 years. We have a couple different menu and food specials that are going to benefit the University of Oregon Alumni Association they’re gonna be broadcasting live out of here on Friday and they’re gonna be holding some raffles so basically this week we’re going to be saying go Ducks. With tens of thousands of fans expected to flood downtown Phoenix over the next several days businesses like The Park and Cartel coffee located just a block from the Final Four fan fest at Phoenix Convention Center will stay open longer and hire more employees so they can cater to more customers. This whole week we’ve decided to extend our hours to seven o’clock. Normally we close around four so we’ll just be staying open a couple extra hours during the day it’s probably going to pick up but other than that we expect this week to be kind of crazy. Actually we’re hiring all front of the house positions right now and back in the house as things start to you know expanding here we’re seeing how popular we’re becoming definitely more employment opportunities for people here in downtown Phoenix area. Fans are expected to begin to flow downtown on Friday when the fan fest tips off at the convention center and the music festival begins at Margaret T. Hance park. In Phoenix, Ryan Curry, Cronkite News. The first games of the Final Four begin on Saturday afternoon but the fan event will start tomorrow and last until the championship game on Monday night.

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