Griz fans bring life, celebration, to Missoula sports bar - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Griz fans bring life, celebration, to Missoula sports bar

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MISSOULA - Griz fans in Missoula have been celebrating the men's basketball team returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013. MTN News caught up with fans on Saturday night who ere soaking in the victory.

"I've been a basketball coach for over 40 years and the support for sporting goods, for sporting events, is high. And of course, it fluctuates sometimes with the coaches or with the season or with the weather -- but by and large, people love the Grizzlies and they love athletics," said Tom Demmons.

A successful season not only means happy athletes and fans but business owners too. Sports bars have been seeing an increase in sales.

MTN News talked with press box general manager Matt Warner about what makes game days different than any other days. He said to get ready they increase staff and buy more supplies.

 “On a normal day, we will have one bartender one server just depending on the day of the week. Mondays, earlier in the week, tend to be a little slower so we'll have one server may be two possibly three. On a Grizzly football day -- or a day like today where there’s basketball games going on all day -- it’s just everybody on the schedule is working throughout the day. Just naturally with our casino with our bar with our restaurant just a 25 to 35% increase in traffic, even more,” said Warner. 

With the extra traffic, he describes the atmosphere as chaotic but says his people have a lot of fun interacting with customers. He added that tournaments are great because unlike the increase in traffic they see for a game or a concert this increase will last a few days rather than just a few hours. 

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