Tournaments bringing boost to local economy

MARMADUKE, AR (KAIT) - As high school basketball fans across the country travel to tournaments to support their favorite teams, they will also be supporting the local economy.

Jerry Morrow and his wife were part of the crowd at the 2A State Basketball Tournament going on at Marmaduke High School Feb. 26 to March 2. "My granddaughter goes to East Poinsett County so I'm here to watch them play," he said.  "This time of year we just go from one state tournament to the other one."

The retired teacher and coach said he has seen how support for the players carries over into the communities.

"Last night we ate at a Mexican place at Cave City, and it was full, and I'm sure on a Wednesday night it wouldn't have been full had that basketball game not been there."

Carol Horton can vouch for a busy restaurant. Carol's Place is minutes away from Marmaduke High School.

"Monday night and Tuesday night I stayed an extra hour later," she said.

Horton talked to Region 8 News just after a rush of people had eaten and left to get good seats at the school. She said her biggest crowds have been coming around lunch time.

"Mainly during the day before the tournament starts at one is where we've seen it because they don't want to miss any games."

Horton estimates she has made about $100 extra everyday since the tournament started, catering to people who have traveled from near and far to support their favorite teams and the local businesses along the way.

"They had traveled 273 miles, and they said it was a long way. Had never been here before, so that's pretty exciting."

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