When it became obvious that the NCAA Final Four was not going to include the top well known teams, hotels in Houston expected to lose much of their planned Final Four traffic. However, fans of the teams that made it to the big dance unexpectedly are scrambling last minute to reserve their rooms and make their travel plans leaving some hotels already sold out and others expecting to do so.
Fans of Butler and Virginia Commonwealth University did not expect to make it to the Final Four. Teams such as Kansas and Duke had fans that had already made reservations and planned their travel. When those teams were ousted from the tournament fans began canceling their reservations and left the hotels concerned about losing all of the business they had expected to receive. Instead, fans of Butler and VCU are making last minute plans to be there for this unexpected opportunity.
Stephanie Haynes of the Hotel and Lodging Association of Greater Houston believes that the hotels will sell out of the 45,000 rooms that were allotted for the Final Four travelers. It just didn’t happen as fast as it would have had the bigger named teams made it through. Some hotels are already completely booked. Others are getting constant calls to hold rooms while plans are being finalized and to add additional rooms to fit the larger number of fans attending.
Houston is now expecting the Final Four to bring the same excitement and crowd it would have brought had the top seeded teams been in the tournament.