Norfolk businesses looking for economic boost with MEAC tournament crowd

MEAC tournament in Norfolk.PNG
Posted at 10:33 PM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 22:33:50-05

NORFOLK, Va. - The MEAC tournament is back in Norfolk. After two years of changes because of COVID-19, this year's event is expected to give businesses downtown a much-needed boost.

While businesses on Granby Street in Downtown Norfolk hope to rebound from the last couple of years, a manager at Grace O’Malley's Irish Pub and Restaurant hopes to score a slam dunk this weekend.

"We [the city] did kind of suffer because they weren’t here. But again, we’d love to have them back in town," Neon, a manager at Grace O’Malley's, said.

This is the first time the MEAC tournament has been open to the public since 2019 because of the pandemic. Businesses on Granby say they are looking forward to large crowds of MEAC fans this weekend.

"I think it’s one of the few events in Norfolk that brings a crowd to Downtown Norfolk. [We] definitely look forward to making some money and having some fun," a manager at Canvas Social Cuisine said.

One tourist traveled more than 200 miles to come to this year's tournament.

"Really excited to support our team. Came all the way down from Baltimore, and we’re just really excited this event is happening again. We were down here in 2020, but they sent us home during the middle of the tournament because of COVID."

A group of college students say they are thrilled to be back after 2020’s tournament.

"In 2020, that was my freshman year. I had my first MEAC; I was excited, but it got canceled in two days, so it feels good to be back and enjoy the actual experience," the student said.

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