FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Razorback men’s basketball team will play Friday in the NCAA Tournament’s first round, and locals can feel the energy. Fayetteville’s Chamber of Commerce President said the team’s success directly translates to the Northwest Arkansas community.
“This team has been so good and built so much expectation and excitement,” said Steve Clark, Fayetteville’s Chamber of Commerce.
Clark has seen how successful Razorback teams impact the local economy. He said he expects money to flow a little easier.
“You will see it in more beverages sold. You’ll see it in more food sold,” Clark said. “You’ll see it in more souvenirs purchased. You’ll see it in more people out.”
Clark said cheering fans equal an economic boost.
“The important thing is to go and cheer on the Razorbacks,” Clark said. “By doing so, you’ll be cheering on our economy.”
Rick Schaeffer’s been around Razorback basketball for decades.
“I was fortunate to work in sports information there for 24 years,” Schaeffer said. “They brought me back, and I did another 10 years of color commentary for the radio networks.”
Schaeffer said it’s hard to compare this year’s team to the great 90s teams.
“You can’t really do that until the season’s over,” Schaeffer said.
But Schaeffer shared a common Arkansas view: there’s a chance this tournament run goes longer than past years.
“If they win one game, they can win a lot of games,” Schaeffer said. “The key to success in the NCAA Tournament is you’ve got to win the first game.”