BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS) — March Madness is best known for its crazy moments and unbelievable upsets, and this year’s tournament is no exception.
But it also brings big business to sports bars.
On Thursday, March 16th, fans packed bars across the state to watch the Mountaineers take on an old rival in the Maryland Terrapins in the first round of the tournament.
While WVU lost a close game, it doesn’t mean people stopped watching the tournament all together. At the Railyard in Bluefield, they haven’t missed a single game.
“With all of the TVs and setups that we do have, its not been a day since March Madness has been on that we haven’t had a request to put it on every single TV we have in the restaurant,” said Jake Burleson, a server and bartender at the Railyard.
Despite more people coming in to watch the games, employees at the Railyard say there have been benefits to all of the madness.
“So its not making work necessarily any more difficult, its just making us more knowledgeable in basketball,” said Burleson. “For instance, I’m more of a contact sport kind of guy. I couldn’t tell you really before two of three teams. Now I’m kind of keeping up to date and getting excited for the next game to come up.”
Plus, they get to hear all of the trash-talking patrons take part in.
“We kind of like getting customers views and their opinions on who they think is going to win, if they have their own brackets set up type deal and those conversations, like I said, is drawing definitely more business to this area,” said Julian.
“And some of those conversations can be really funny, especially if they get in a little tiffle about it,” said Summer Julian, a server and hostess.
The Railyard expects to continue seeing large crowds through the rest of the tournament, which will end on April 3rd.