ESPN sportscaster Rece Davis offered no advice to Kentucky coach John Calipari on how his team could beat Davidson in the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament Thursday at Taco Bell Arena. But he did tell Calipari where to eat while his team is in Boise.
“While you’re there, try Goldy’s Breakfast Bistro. You’ll thank me later,” Davis said Sunday during the nationally televised NCAA tournament selection show.
Goldy’s co-owner Wanda Martinat said her phone promptly began ringing off the hook from friends calling to tell her.
“I’m very flattered,” Martinat said. “We try to do the best we can and appreciate people recognizing that we do a good job.”
Davis was part of a ESPN broadcast team that called a pair of Boise State home football games in 2006 and 2012 and ate at the restaurant. Fellow ESPN sportscasters Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso also came to Goldy’s in September 2010, when ESPN brought its College GameDay show to Idaho before Boise State’s football game with Oregon State.
“I didn’t expect a shoutout like that,” Martinat said. “You’re talking quite a while ago when they were in.”
Calipari’s Wildcats won the Southeastern Conference tournament Sunday. The coach was not happy that his team was given a No. 5 seed and sent to Boise. He joked that he asked his players how many knew which state Boise was in.
Martinat expects Friday to be her busiest day, based on past years when Boise has hosted first- and second-round games. With first-round games Thursday and the second round Saturday, the off-day Friday will bring more pedestrian traffic near her Downtown restaurant, at 108 S. Capitol Blvd.
She said Kentucky, Arizona and Gonzaga, three of the teams playing in Boise, have lots of fans who travel to watch them play. “No one has any place they plan to go, but they’re always going to eat,” said Martinat, who also owns Goldy’s Corner and the Stagecoach Inn.
The two rounds will provide a big economic boost to Boise, said Taylor Williamson, sports and convention sales manager for the Boise Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“We’ve projected about a $15 million economic impact,” Williamson said. “That’s just based on the 3,500 room nights that we’ve booked for teams and media and officials and fans.”
During a later segment of Sunday’s telecast, when Davis was speaking to Gonzaga coach Mark Few, Davis joked that he was waiting for a check from Goldy’s for the free advertising he provided.
Martinat suspects NBC sportscaster Heather Cox, who lives in Boise, was responsible for suggesting Goldy’s to her former colleagues at ESPN. Cox has been a customer.