Springfield Hosts NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament: Local Businesses Benefit from Fan Influx

Springfield local business owners share their thoughts on the NCAA tournament hockey in town

The excitement was palpable in Springfield as the 2024 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament kicked off on Thursday. The influx of visitors to the heart of Springfield has been a boon for local businesses, with bars, restaurants, and shops experiencing increased patronage from fans heading to the arena before the start of the games.

One popular spot for hockey fans was Theodore’s Blues, Booze, and Barbeque. Co-owner Keith Makarowski shared that their doors opened early and were quickly filled with excited patrons looking to enjoy NCAA hockey and get in some pre-game fun. Makarowski, sporting a University of Maine t-shirt that day, explained that the Black Bears’ alumni club had informed him of an upcoming surge in customers, prompting his support for the team that day.

Although this was only the first night of tournament hockey in Springfield, with another round scheduled for Saturday night, Makarowski expressed his excitement for the continued support from fans. With UMass and UMaine both playing in the tournament, businesses like Theodore’s have been greatly appreciated by fans who are eager to show their support for their beloved schools. As the tournament continues, Springfield businesses look forward to welcoming more fans and providing them with a memorable experience.

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