The brackets giveth, and the brackets taketh away.
On game days during March Madness, sales at independent Reno restaurants rise nearly 6 percent over average, according to 2018 data from Womply, a small business software company.
But — and this is a big but, I cannot lie — those gains sink to 2 percent under average on days when the Wolf Pack takes to the court.
Womply explains this counter-intuitive finding by suggesting that “Wolf Pack fans are more likely to watch UNR games at home rather than go out to watch the game at a restaurant with friends and family — a trend we don’t see in every college town.”
At the same time, if a team makes the Sweet 16 (which the Wolf Pack did last year and in 2004), sales at independent and regional chain restaurants in the team’s hometown will rise by 11 percent.
Those sales “will continue to escalate as long as a local team stays in contention for the national championship,” according to a report on the Womply findings in Restaurant Business Magazine, a leading trade publication.
The Wolf Pack opens its third straight NCAA Basketball Tournament appearance on March 21 in Des Moines, Iowa, against Florida.
The Wolf Pack (29-4) is the No. 7 seed in the West Region. Nevada also was a No. 7 seed last season when it won two games to reach the Sweet 16.
Florida is 19-15 overall. The Gators went 9-9 in SEC games, finishing eighth in the conference standings.
Womply says its findings are based on 2018 transactions at 42,000 local restaurants.