BOSTON (CBS) – March Madness hits Boston on Thursday, and although Harvard University made a first round exit, there’s plenty for the city to cheer about.

The tournaments mean a nice boost for city businesses.

The East Regional Finals of the NCAA Tournament at the TD Garden are expected to generate up to $22 million for the local economy, according to the Greater Boston Convention & Visitor’s Bureau.

Bureau said that on the surface, this looks like a three-day event covering the games from Thursday through Saturday. But in actuality, it’s a 6- to 7-day event for Boston and Cambridge.

Teams started arriving on Monday, and after that, NCAA officials, media and fans made their way to the city. Every day they are here in Boston, they spend money.

Around 5,000 hotel rooms have been booked in the Boston area as a result of the NCAA Tournament.

Boston College also will reap the benefits, even though their men’s team did not qualify for the tournament this year.

As the host institution, BC will provide staff and logistics and will be entitled to some money from the NCAA. BC did not disclose how much they are getting paid.

Lisa van der Pool of the Boston Business Journal contributed to this report.


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