$2M Basketball Stimulus

Hartford is hoping it can still come out the winner this year in the 2009 Big East Women’s Basketball Championship.

The tournament runs for five days starting this Friday and runs through next Tuesday. 
This is the 6th consecutive year the championship has rolled into town. Tournament organizers say the games bring in over $2 million to the Greater Hartford region.
The XL Center, the Greater Hartford Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Hartford Business Improvement District are working together to make sure fans have the best possible experience while in town.
If you’re coming into town to support your team, there's some good news:  Several Hartford restaurants will be Fan Headquarters, offering food and drink specials.  Also, many downtown businesses will offer extended hours for the tournament.  If you're looking for a little entertainment before the game, there will be live performances, games, face painters and magicians inside the XL Center.
There are still many hotel rooms available.  The Big East says 2,500 rooms have already been booked by officials, athletes, cheerleaders, bands and alumni groups from each school.
The first round kicks off Friday at noon with #12 Syracuse taking on #13 St. John’s.  UConn doesn’t take to the court until Sunday, March 8, with the second game in the quarterfinals.  It is scheduled to begin at 2pm with the UConn women taking on the winner of game six.
There’s bad news for UConn fans who plan to watch from home.  If you don’t have access to ESPNU, you won’t be able to see the team play in the quarterfinals or semifinals of the Big East Tournament.  So you'll have to head in to Hartford.
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