Hawaii businesses see economic boom with NCAA Tournament - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii businesses see economic boom with NCAA Tournament

(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
H-Zone Store Director Felix Calvo (Image: Hawaii News Now) H-Zone Store Director Felix Calvo (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
KAKAAKO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Whether you're a sports fan or not, excitement is in the air for University of Hawai'i fans and local businesses are taking advantage.

H-Zone at the Ward Center has kept busy making sure Warrior fans are decked out in the hottest gear.

"It's just so much pride churning through Hawaii right now and it's exciting." said UH fan Valerie Dionne.

The Let's Dance Big West T-shirts, running for $20 a piece, is the store's hottest item. Store Director Felix Calvo says he's sold more than 600 in the past week.

"This is our third order so we went back to the vendor and said 'Wow it's like hot potatoes we need to get it in,'" said Calvo.

So what's the reason for the all the hype? Well, it's been quite some time since UH made it to NCAA basketball tournaments. The men last qualified in 2002; the women, in 1998. Also, for the first time in the program's history, the men's basketball team is advancing to the second round. On Sunday. March 19, they'll face 5th-seeded Maryland.

"It's huge for Hawaii we get dissed a lot you know," Dionne said. "We're way out here in the middle of nowhere, it's so cute Hawaii wants to play ball and I'm like 'No, Hawaii is coming to play ball.'"

While the dance is now over for the Rainbow Wahine after falling to UCLA Saturday, fans are still showing love and making sure they're taking a part of history home with them.

"It's our team we only have one team so you've got to support it straight up every day every year," said UH fan Dana Kobashigawa.

Calvo says all proceeds made at H-Zone will go directly back to the UH athletics program.

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