Frozen Four fans help local economy

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The annual state high school hockey tournament semifinals and finals also known as "The Frozen Four" is held at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Each year, it draws in fans from all parts of the state.

Those fans and their families stay in local hotels, eat at area restaurants, shop, and buy gas. All of that money means good news for area businesses. The Queensbury team from northeast of Albany is staying at The Best Western in Utica. Manager Kayla White says although this is March, it feels a bit like summer. She said, "Boilermaker weekend's always packed here, this kind of felt like Boilermaker weekend, everybody's full, everybody's busy."

It's not just the players and their families who make it here to Utica. Fans come on their own and in some cases like Queensbury, two busloads of fans came here to spend the weekend.

Jess Mifsud from Queensbury says she's had a good time here once again, and loves coming here. Queensbury has been in the Frozen Four three of the past four years, and Misfud says she always spends a lot of money. She said, "we went to Babe's Macaroni Grille last night, it's really good, good service...definitely, definitely."

Jess's dad, Tony Misfud says "The Aud" is a great place to watch hockey because it gets so loud in there. He said, "quite a bit, quite a bit, it's electric, it electrifies the arena, the fans, it's contagious and we just have a great time." Misfud says, "it's the fans that get into the player's heads, so when they actually make some noise, the player's respond appropriately."

Although it may not be the college basketball Final Four in San Antonio, where fans will bring in millions to the local economy tehre next month, it's our final four, "The Frozen Four", and area businesses are glad it keeps coming back.

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