Mad Money 

"We'll have people waiting outside the door. It's just non-stop and I love it."

Both men's and women's teams from Boise State are in the tourneys for the first time in 20 years.

Both men's and women's teams from Boise State are in the tourneys for the first time in 20 years.

Good luck finding a barstool over the next two weekends as the NCAA men's and women's hoops tournaments occupy the airwaves.

"Get here an hour-and-a-half before the game, and you'll have a shot at having the best seats in the house," said Legends Sports Pub and Grill owner Bob Steele.

With both the Boise State University men's and women's basketball teams participating in this year's madness—only the second time in school history and the first time since 1994—local pubs and eateries were thrilled.

"We'll have people waiting outside the door," said Buffalo Wild Wings waitress Trenise Cross. "It's just non-stop and I love it."

While March Madness adds up to big money for sports bars like Buffalo Wild Wings and Legends, it doesn't play so well with bottom lines at many workplaces. According to global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, lost wages paid to "distracted and unproductive workers" could reach as high as $1.9 billion.

"But we would never rat anybody out," said Buffalo Wild Wings Training Manager Scott Cooper. "They show up when we open and they'll be here until the final game is over."

Those same "distracted" workers, no doubt, had their heads in the game when the Boise State men's and women's basketball teams stepped into the national spotlight during the tournament.

"We get big Boise State crowds during the regular season," said Cooper. "I can only imagine what we're going to see during the tournament. It's awesome."

Meanwhile, at Legends, Steele said his staff is up to the task of non-stop serving, "But they're all really good at having each other's back. They take care of themselves and, more importantly, one another."

At Buffalo Wild Wings, waitress Kristen Armacost said those long shifts pay off: "You can make some really good money those days."

It might be good practice for March 2019, when Boise is set to host the opening rounds of the NCAA men's basketball tournament for the first time since 2009. Economists estimate that the tournament brings a $4-$6 million economic impact to its host city.

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