Gonzaga vs UNC Greensboro Basketball

UNC Greensboro forward James Dickey (21) goes up for a dunk during Thursday's NCAA Tournament game against Gonzaga in Boise.

Thousands of fans arrived in the Treasure Valley this week for the NCAA men's college basketball tournament. Two sessions of games took place Thursday at Boise State's Taco Bell Arena, and the third session is Saturday.

The tournament is expected to generate $15 million in the local economy as fans visit restaurants and businesses and pay for lodging. 

"It's really a conservative estimate," Taylor Williamson with the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau previously told the Idaho Press-Tribune. "The actual number might be much higher."

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As many as 30,000 fans — some from Boise but many from the eight visiting teams — are expected to flock to hotels, restaurants and other businesses downtown.

Airbnb said in a press release Thursday that the company has seen an uptick in guests visiting Boise between March 12 and 18. The company is a go-between for guests looking for a short-term stay and property owners wanting to rent out space.

Airbnb said 1,220 guests were booked in Boise from March 12 to 18, bringing in an estimated $120,000 for hosts.

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