March Madness means big business for scalpers, bars - KCTV5

March Madness means big business for scalpers, bars

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The NCAA Basketball Tournament kicks off this week, and games will be held at the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City.

With KU and K-State playing at the Sprint Center, the Kansas City sessions are much in demand. Area bars are also expecting packed crowds as fans flock to watch the games.

All the tickets for games at the Sprint Center have been gone since Sunday. Some tickets might be released later in the week, but right now buyers are heading to scalpers, who can charge big bucks.

The idea of the Jayhawks possibly playing Roy Williams' University of North Carolina Tar Heels in Kansas City has some fans salivating. And pulling out their wallets.

Ace Sports' Hal Wagner said the phone has been ringing nonstop at the Oak Park Mall store since the brackets were announced.

"I was suppose to leave at 6 and I got out at 10:30 at night and the phones were still ringing," he said. "We just had an individual buy 10 courtside seats. I can't even begin to tell you how large an order that was."

Session One is selling for under $200. Session two will cost at least $250. Session 3 on Sunday will run you at least $300 for a ticket.

Wagner says if you are planning to use a broker then you should buy your tickets now. He said the prices are expected to climb daily.

CBS and three other stations will carry the games based on an agreement with the NCAA.

And Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State and Wichita State fans need to make sure that they know where TBS, TNT and TruTV are on their cable system. CBS has not authorized KCTV5 to carry any of those games.

For a complete schedule, click here.

If you do not have cable or satellite, then you will need to watch with a friend, family member or at a business showing the game.

That and the spirit of camaraderie has bar owners expected packed tables this week. Establishments at the downtown Power and Light District across the street from the Sprint Center expect huge crowds.

"They can come down, watch the game and be right across the street from where the action is at the same time," McFadden's Mac Taylor said.

Because KCTV5 cannot carry the local teams' games, cable companies are braced for telephone calls from angry or confused fans. Operators are being given scripts so they are ready to answer questions.

"TruTV is the hardest for people to find," Time Warner Cable's Dave Borchardt said. "Most know where KCTV5 is and TBS and TNT. But TruTV isn't as easy to find as ESPN, for example."

Cable providers also hope to help out fans via social media such as Twitter.

For a complete list of the networks carrying the games, go to

Or click here.

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