DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — March is the busiest time of year for bars around the University of Dayton not only because of the NCAA tournament, but also because of St. Patrick’s Day.
While basketball fans will be flooding U-D Arena, bars are getting ready to welcome them.
“Milano’s kind of turns into the center of the basketball universe down here,” stated General Manager Larry Adkisson.
Adkisson said business is expected to double, even triple, during the week long of parties. The First Four has become a routine for Milano’s every March, which is why it’s increasing its staffing.
“Extra door staff, extra bartending staff,” described Adkisson. “My vendors love me this week because I’m ordering everything in the world.”
Nearby, Flanagan’s Pub owner Colin Pohlman focuses on St. Paddy’s Day with the First Four tournament as an added bonus.
“The timing has been very good to us,” said Pohlman. “The NCAA tournament combined with St. Patrick’s Day are going to make this week extremely busy.”
The tent is up, the stage is set, and the beer truck is ready. The preparation is ahead of St. Patrick’s Day Thursday when the pub is expecting the number of people to be in the quadruple digits.
“Needless to say, we’re in crunch mode, but we’re prepared and we’re excited,” said Pohlman.
There will be at least 20 staff members on deck at any given time Thursday, plus 20 volunteers from the FOP.
Now, both bars are just gearing up for the madness.
“Get here early. When the doors open, usually every table is taken up within like the first 30 minutes,” warned Adkisson. “If the Flyers are playing, everybody wants to be here.”
“It’s a big operation to say the least,” said Pohlman.
The games are estimated to pump four million dollars into the local economy through hotels, bars, restaurants, and ticket sales.