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Hot Springs Hosts Sun Belt Basketball for the Last Time

The Championship Tournament is headed to New Orleans next year.

The 5th and final sun belt championship basketball tournament has wrapped up in Hot Springs.

Arkansas state and western Kentucky fans packed the stands as well as local hotels and restaurants.

All of that business is leaving after this year.

The Sun Belt basketball tournament is the culmination of a season of hard work by student athletes, coaches and fans, and it is ending its run in hot springs after five seasons and heading to New Orleans, much to the disappointment of local businesses.

Eli Capia, who works at Picante's Mexican Grill is disappointed."This event every year we did more business every year so all the business around here is going to suck."

The economic impact of the tournament is something businesses say they won't be able to make up without another large scale conference to take Sun Belt's place.

"We prepare double that we used to on the weekend's business is great the atmosphere is awesome," says Capia.

Many Western Kentucky fans attended the Sun Belt tournament three years in a row.

They say they like visiting Hot Springs, they know the area and have their favorite places to eat and stay, but they'll follow the teams to New Orleans next year.

WKU fan Amy Sweeney says "I'll be excited about it it's something different it's nice coming here but for a change."

Fans say they'll miss the friendly people and great hospitality in Hot Springs but that won't keep them from cheering on their team in a new town.

The city of Hot springs is Hoping to attract another major tournament or conference to take the place of all these fans and their tourism dollars.

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