By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — In Downtown Sacramento, March Madness has a ring like “cha-ching” for hotels near the Golden 1 Center. The rates are raised at the Sterling Hotel to $329 a night, for the NCAA Championship Tournament weekend.

The boutique hotel a few blocks from the arena is a hundred percent booked–all weekend long.

“Starting on Friday we’re 100 percent,” Sterling Hotel manager Jones Germanni said. “Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and I think Wednesday as well.”

Other downtown hotels are also packed. The Hyatt is 99 percent booked with a standard room at $389 a night. The Sheraton is 95 percent booked at $500 a night. The Holiday Inn is 90 percent booked with a rate of $289 a night.

Airbnb says the hot hotel market is spilling into its listings, which are up 96 percent from a year ago.

“When you look at the numbers, the highest number of people are coming from Seattle, from LA, from San Francisco, from Irvine, which makes total sense with UCLA and Oregon both playing this weekend,” Airbnb spokesman Christopher Nolty said.

Colleges from Nebraska, Rhode Island, New York, and Ohio will also be flying into Sacramento for the hoops hysteria.

And tip-off will be timed with another kind of Sacramento celebration.

“I think people are forgetting on Friday we have a holiday called St. Patrick’s Day which brings an awful lot of people to bars and restaurants,” Visit Sacramento’s Mike Testa said. “You combine that with the first night of March Madness. Downtown will be the place to be.”

Airbnb says there are 500 listing in Sacramento this weekend and the average listing is $75.


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