State basketball tournament boon for business
Good crowds pack the Alaska Airlines Center for another state high school basketball tournament.
That includes the Rivers family of Scammon Bay.
"I eat, sleep, and come to the ball games," says Jacob Rivers.
But, watching the 1A state tournament comes with a hefty price tag for the family.
"Maybe $6000, with all the shopping, car rental, hotel, basketball games," Rivers says, figuring the cost for his family to travel to Anchorage.
Fans of the 1A and 2A teams typically arrive on a Monday or Tuesday and leave on Sunday. That adds up to big bucks for the Anchorage economy, says the head of the Alaska School Activities Association, or ASAA, Billy Strickland.
"It's been estimated right around $3 million to $5 million, depending on whose numbers you're using," Strickland says during a break between the games.
The state tournament is just one of many events ASAA hosts every year.
"We just had a study done by the McDowell Group, economic impact in Anchorage for activities, $8.6 million, 65 full-time jobs."
The trip to the state tournament is not cheap for many families, especially those from remote villages, but, they say it's worth it.
"I'm just here for the basketball tournament, the March Madness", says Marie Rivers, as Anchorage reaps in the profits.
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