Omaha, NE – Omaha is playing host to the first and second rounds of the Midwest Regional of the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament. The tournament tips off Thursday morning at the Qwest Center with Kansas playing Portland State. Kansas State, USC and Wisconsin are also playing in Omaha.
Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Dana Markel says the impact of hosting the tournament extends beyond the economic aspect. She says it also creates national publicity that the CVB might otherwise have a hard time getting. It also brings television exposure and provides the opportunity to highlight Omaha's arts scene, Old Market District and zoo.
Markel says the NCAA has strict rules regarding the promotion of host cities. But the Convention and Visitors Bureau is doing several things to promote Omaha. Markel says they've placed visitors' guides in hotel rooms and personalized emblems at Eppley Airfield welcoming the teams to Omaha. She says there are also cheer groups wearing Omaha t-shirts at the team hotels, welcoming the teams to the city.