They call the Ivy League’s four-team, two-day basketball tournaments the “ultimate back to back.”
For the first time, Yale University is hosting and that means a boost this weekend to New Haven’s economy.
The Bulldogs logo at the center of Yale’s home court at the Lee Amphitheater has been replaced with the green Ivy League logo.
“I think it’s an incredible opportunity,” Marty Reynolds said. “We were able to attend the one in Philadelphia last year at the Palestra.”
Marty and his wife April from Jackson, Missouri arrived Friday morning in New Haven.
“We haven’t checked in yet,” April said. “We came straight from the airport right over here so we could catch the shootaround.”
They are visiting to support the Bulldogs and their son, senior Blake Reynolds.
“Being at home in front of a lot of our home fans and our home gym, that will be really good for us,” Reynolds said during the press conference with his coach and teammates.
Yale’s Miye Oni is the Ivy League Player of the Year.
“I think it’s a great, great achievement for our city, for our school, definitely a great event that we hope ends well for us,” Oni told NBC Connecticut.
It should be a busy weekend for New Haven hotels, bars and restaurants, according to the city’s interim economic development administrator Michael Piscitelli.
“You’re bringing in Ivy League schools and you’re bringing in people that might not be as familiar with New Haven,” Piscitelli said. “The Ivy League did not have a tournament for many many years so this is a first exposure for many people who don’t come every year.”
The Reynolds family has enjoyed their visits to New Haven over the past four years.
“We’ve been here many times and we have some favorite places we like in town as well,” Marty said.
Their son has traveled the world with the team and received a world-class education.
“Anytime you have the opportunity to attend an Ivy school, especially a school like Yale, it’s a life changing experience for students and student athletes,” Marty said.
The Yale Bulldogs play the Princeton Tigers Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. Harvard and Penn will meet in the other semi-final game.
The winner of the championship game Sunday afternoon punches a ticket to the NCAA Tournament.