NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — The first round of March Madness is underway and people are flocking to the bars to watch the games.

News 8’s Jayne Chacko was outside Elmer’s in New Britain with all the excitement. Elmer’s crowd is usually college students, but since Central Connecticut State University is on break, the bar was full of locals Thursday night.

One of the owners said they opened early yesterday, just for March Madness. Elmer’s hosted a private party that had people coming in all day to watch the games.

Between the tournament and St. Patrick’s Day, they were excited about the boost in business.

They’re running special promos like $2 beers, pop a shot at the basketball, and giveaways.

They’re expecting a big crowd on Friday and during the holiday.

“I’ve been here since 11 this morning, been pretty busy all day, a couple of upsets made today fly by,” said Michael Cooke, one of the owners of Elmer’s.

“Being from Connecticut, I would love UConn to go all the way and take the championship, that would be amazing,” said Dylan Frisk of Berlin. “Good luck, fellas, work hard, it’s St. Patty’s Day, so make sure you have a good time!”

UConn’s road to another national championship begins when they take on Iona on Friday, March 17, at 4:30 p.m.