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Mardi Gras, M-V-C Sports See Thousands Spending Millions

Bob Hamilton
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Indiana State Sycamores Jake Odum shoots a free throw with just seconds left in a game against the Missouri State Bears during the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Championship Game at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 6, 2011. Indiana State won the game 60-56.     UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Indiana State Sycamores Jake Odum shoots a free throw with just seconds left in a game against the Missouri State Bears during the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Championship Game at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 6, 2011. Indiana State won the game 60-56. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – If it seemed there were more college students in town than usual, it wasn’t just Mardi Gras.

Scottrade Center was host to the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference basketball tournament.  The tourney winner moves on to a berth in the N.C.A.A. 

Sunday, the championship went to Indiana State, a 60 to 56 winner over Missouri State. 

The St. Louis business community has put a price on the tournament, just over $15-million spent by fans on tickets, concessions, hotels, meals and travel around town. 

There was an even bigger money-maker over the weekend — Mardi Gras in Soulard.  That economic benefit is estimated at $25-million.  Merchants say this was their best year yet. 

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