Downtown Raleigh ambassadors clear the way for March Madness

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – While thousands are cheering on the Triangle’s hometown teams, there’s a different team that perhaps isn’t getting that same type of applause.

It’s the street ambassadors who are making sure that visitors and locals alike get a beautiful view of the downtown Raleigh area and that team is doing everything they can to make sure the best picture is put forward.”

In the early morning, while fans clinch their bracket, these players are warming up on a different court.

These men and women are making sure every one gets an exclusive, VIP seat to all downtown Raleigh has to offer.

“I think that’s a huge deal- what you don’t see,” explained Stacey Simeone with Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

And out of view is trash.

As early as 6 a.m., this squad may not be polishing the court, but it is shining the tables.

The Green Machine powers through sidewalks, taking with it the trash others leave behind.

“They were a great investment because they actually cleaned up over 90,000 pounds of trash over 2015,” Simeone said.

Downtown Raleigh Alliance tells CBS North Carolina that the group has spent more than $1 million each year to keep the heart of the region spotless and secure.

“We also have safety ambassadors who give safety escorts,” she detailed.

With more than 15,000 expected to drive through Raleigh’s center court, the street ambassadors are the humble MVPs, elevating our city so that visitors come again.

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