INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - NCAA weekend is under way and the city of Indianapolis has its game face on.
It's part of the effort that makes this weekend a winner for Indianapolis, no matter who comes out ahead on the court.
Preparations start early on game day. March Madness isn't just exciting basketball – it's big business. Zach Thomas drives a beer truck for Zink Distributing.
"Today we have 700 cases or so. We've got 21 stops," he said as he unloadsed cases of beer to downtown customers.
Big business means getting it right is essential. That means what happens off the basketball court counts. Sunbelt Rentals dropped off two big portable heaters on Georgia Street.
Also on Georgia Street, Ted Gregory is putting a sound system through its pre-game paces.
"This is a tailgate party for the basketball games," he says. "It's a free event. So it's beer and food and live music just a big party," says Gregory.
As the party starts, the idea is to wow the fans. Win them while they're young, like Drew Miller, a Michigan State fan in elementary school.
"Well I like it so far," he says.
Indianapolis can have a fan for life.
"We came down for the final four when it was here," Amy Miller said. "And so we were excited it was in Indy. It's one of our favorite cities to come to. It's great," she says.
About 40,000 fans will leave behind between $15 – $17 million. And with the NCAA game plan in place, Indy just might get them back without any game in town at all.
UPDATE 10:45 P.M.: Many Indiana State Police dispatches were reporting accidents on major roads due to slick weather conditions Sunday night.
With some of the coldest nights of the season on the way, shelters are preparing for a rush of people trying to stay warm.
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