MONROE - Local high school teams like the Carroll Bulldogs and the Farmerville Farmers will be joining 28 other boys and girls basketball teams from Wednesday to Saturday night inside ULM's coliseum for the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Boys and Girls State Basketball Championships.
A big turnout is coming for the games, an estimated 20,000 fans or more.
"We got people coming from all parts of Louisiana, literally all four corners," said Scott Bruscato, Director of Sales for the Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Shreveport, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Hammond, stretching all the way up into the Lake Charles area and in between."
"Two of the teams that are coming from one school, boys and girls, that both made it, have already called a restaurant and they're planning on having them feeding both their teams afterwards," Communications Director for the Bureau, Sheila Snow, said.
Restaurants, shops, hotels, all of them stand to reel in the money from all of these visitors, especially when local teams like Ouachita, Rayville, Carroll and Farmerville square off.
This is the first time the City of Monroe has hosted both a boys and girls high school basketball championship tournament.
These teams will take each other on and then go home but their money will stay here and when that sales tax comes down, a big financial boost is expected.
"That money helps the infrastructure of the City of Monroe to continue," Bruscato said. "Firemen, police, those sorts of things, so it certainly does have a ripple effect."
Not only will the city feel the love but also ULM itself.
As the players take the floor of the Fant-Ewing Coliseum and the fans take the seats, the Home of the Warhawks will be on full display.
"Some of them for the very first time will be on the ULM campus and they'll see how beautiful it is with the bayou running through it and the athletic facility," said Bruscato
"It's a really great opportunity for ULM to maybe gather some new students and some new recruits," Snow said.
No matter who takes the crown at the end of the tournament, the City of Monroe is set up to be a winner.
The doors of the coliseum open Wednesday at 5 p.m. and the first game starts Wednesday night at 6 p.m.
Games will be held at Noon, 2 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. from Thursday through Saturday.
Tickets cost $10.