NCAA urges Phoenix businesses to cater to influx of fans

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Businesses in downtown Phoenix said they are increasing staff and staying open later for the Final Four. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Businesses in downtown Phoenix said they are increasing staff and staying open later for the Final Four. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
DeSoto Market is expanding on Central Avenue with a beer garden. Managers also expanded the hours. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) DeSoto Market is expanding on Central Avenue with a beer garden. Managers also expanded the hours. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Hotel, barand restaurant managers are eager to welcome visitors back to Phoenixand to show off the strides the city has made. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Hotel, barand restaurant managers are eager to welcome visitors back to Phoenixand to show off the strides the city has made. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Businesses in downtown Phoenix have been told to prepare for an extra 400,000 people during NCAA Final Four weekend.

"Our expectation is that it'll be huge," V Calamur, manager at MATCH Cuisine and Cocktails, said.

MATCH is adjacent to Margaret T. Hance Park, which will host a series of free concerts through the weekend.

The shows are expected to draw 20,000 people, so surrounding businesses are bringing in all the staff they can find.

[Special Section: NCAA Final Four in Phoenix]

"All hands on deck, plus extras, like any friends and family who want to help will be down here," Jill Newman, of DeSoto Central Market, said.

DeSoto is expanding on Central Avenue with a beer garden. Managers also expanded the hours.

"The city and NCAA encouraged everyone to stay open later," Newman said.

"One of the first things we heard from the NCAA people was to make sure the kitchen's open late. So it'll be open until 1 (a.m.)," Calamur said of MATCH.

[RELATED: Valley law enforcement gears up for Final Four security]

He says NCAA officials warned businesses of mistakes made in Houston, the site of last year's Final Four.

"One of the main things was, they weren't open late, especially on Monday, which is championship night. They said a lot of businesses closed early and lost business," Calamur said.

Hotel, bar and restaurant managers are eager to welcome visitors back to Phoenix and to show off the strides the city has made.

"The skyline has changed. The scene has changed.  It's just a very different place, and this is a great opportunity to showcase Phoenix as a world-class city," Newman said.

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Jared DillinghamJared anchors the weekend newscasts at 5, 6, 9 and 10pm on both 3TV and CBS5. He also reports during the week for both stations.

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Jared Dillingham

Over his decade in Phoenix, Jared has worked all shifts at 3TV, including a yearlong stint anchoring the weekend morning show.

Since 2007, Jared has covered everything from Senator John McCain's campaign for president, to the Jodi Arias trial, to the largest wildfire in Arizona history.

Jared grew up in New York, and graduated from Syracuse University with degrees in broadcast journalism and political science.

After internships at News12 Long Island and NBC in Washington, DC, Jared moved to beautiful "Big Sky Country." He spent a year at KRTV in Great Falls, Montana, before moving to KREM in Spokane, Washington.

The Valley has truly become "home" for Jared. He lives in Phoenix, and spends his mornings listening to as many news/political podcasts as possible, while walking his (now elderly) rescue dogs, Gabby and Bree.

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