Two major party crowds will collide this week in downtown Buffalo.  Buffalo, being one of the most Irish cities in America, is set to celebrate St. Patrick's day in its normal raucous fashion.  And, as if that wasn't enough, over 50,000 fans will be attending the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Tournament at the KeyBank Center.

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Mayor Byron Brown said this week, that the tournament will be bringing a $7.5 million dollar boost to the local economy with two days of games on March 17th and 19th.

And local businesses are taking notice of the influx of people.  The attractions at downtowns Canalside (including the Naval Park, the carousel, and the Canalside Rink) will be open for the NCAA and St. Patrick's Day crowds this week.

The party universes collide on Thursday, as the tournament tips off at noon on St. Patrick's Day.  The Canalside attractions are usually only open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at this time of the year. The Carousel will be open on Thursday from 12-5, so you can take a spin before you head to the games. The Naval Park will also be open for tours Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 12-4 pm.

The NCAA action tips of on Thursday, with a four-game slate including:

12:40 pm - Providence (4) Vs South Dakota State (13)

3:10 pm -  Iowa (5) Vs Richmond (12)

6:50 pm - UConn (5) vs New Mexico State (12)

9:20 pm - Arkansas  (4) Vs Vermont (13)

And for the first time ever, fans will be able to enjoy beer and wine inside KeyBank Center during the games.

For more information on Canalside and its attractions, CLICK HERE.

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