Badgers' tournament run helps boost Madison businesses - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Badgers' tournament run helps boost Madison businesses

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Badger basketball team's run to the NCAA Final Four was welcome news for several Madison businesses.

State Street Brats downtown was at its capacity, 550 people, by 2 p.m. Sunday ahead of the Badgers' 8 p.m. game against the University of Kentucky.

Ian Berg, who works at State Street Brats, said staff had prepared to deal with big crowds after fans flooded the restaurant during Wisconsin's Elite Eight win over Arizona the week before.

"We had signs up telling people you can't reserve tables until after 6 p.m." Berg said. "We had people in here at like 2 p.m. waiting for the game."

Berg said crowd stayed at capacity until close at 2 a.m.

"We had people at the door," to keep lines moving in and out, he said.

Berg said working the game was hectic but enjoyable.

"I like being here for the game days," Berg said. "It's kind of sad that you miss out on being in the crowd. But it's also fun to see all the people and share that moment with everybody."

At The University Book Store, on State Street, Final Four gear flew off the shelves ahead of the big game.

Angie Maniaci, the store's collegiate buyer, said the shop on State Street sold off three racks of Final Four t-shirts. One rack remains.

"Most of (the shirts) left are size 2x," Maniaci said.

"If you go by last year's sales versus this year's sales, by day, we did five times as much business every day this week," she said.

Maniaci said sales have been up at all the University Book Store locations, not just the site downtown.

She ordered one last set of Final Four t-shirts expected to arrive this week.

"I'll keep those out on the floor for a while," Maniaci said. "It's still exciting. We went to the Final Four."

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