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Busy weekend ahead in downtown Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Thousands of people are expected to converge in downtown Indianapolis this weekend.

This weekend marks not only the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, but also many other events happening downtown and near downtown.

The Big Ten Hoops Day 5K is set for 8 a.m. Saturday.

The NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships is being held at the natatorium on IUPUI’s campus March 11 and 12.

Downtown Indy, Inc’s fourth annual Blarney Bash for St Patrick’s Day kicks off from 2-10 pm Saturday on Georgia Street. It’s an outdoor festival with live music, for those 21 and over.

The Shamrock 5K Beer Run is set for 2 p.m. Saturday. A number of bars and restaurants plan to open a bit earlier than usual for the Big Ten games Friday and Saturday. Both IU and Purdue play Friday afternoon. Restaurant managers say this is one of their busiest weekends.

Kilroy’s is designated as IU’s home base for fans, and Scotty’s Brewhouse is designated as Purdue’s this year.

“We’re looking to be busy, especially with the year Purdue’s been having,” said Chad Brown, general manager of Scotty’s Brewhouse downtown. “And not just basketball fans, people who want to come celebrate St Patricks day, the Shamrock 5K, and then leading into next week too with St Patty’s day, this just gives us that momentum heading into the week as well.”

Visit Indy says Indianapolis and Bankers Life Fieldhouse will host 54 games in 43 days, with 130,000 fans and visitors.

They say the Big Ten Women’s Tournament brings in $5.2 million in economic impact, the Men’s Big Ten brings in $13.4 million, and the NCAA Women’s Final Four in April brings in $18.1 million.