Downtown businesses look forward to Big 12 Tournament - KCTV5

Downtown businesses look forward to Big 12 Tournament

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The Big 12 Tournament is still a week away, but already the Power and Light District is preparing, and this year the impact will reach even further outside the immediate area of the Sprint Center. (Big 12) The Big 12 Tournament is still a week away, but already the Power and Light District is preparing, and this year the impact will reach even further outside the immediate area of the Sprint Center. (Big 12)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The Big 12 Tournament is still a week away, but already the Power and Light District is preparing, and this year the impact will reach even further outside the immediate area of the Sprint Center.

It's the first year the streetcar is running and businesses along its routes say they too are expecting big crowds.

"It's going to be incredibly busy, the people coming in hotels restaurants, hopefully the clothing stores all do well,” said Keith Novorr, owner of Michaels Fine Clothing along Main Street.

His store is an icon in the downtown area, it’s doors have been open for the past 111 years. With the addition of the streetcar, Novorr says they’ve already seen a boost in foot traffic.

"I would say double the traffic now,” Novorr reflected.

Tuesday collegiate flags hung in the storefront windows. The business owner says he expects a lot more people to come in with the Big 12 Tournament next week and he wants to show his support.

“The team that really travels well other than the University of Kansas in the big 12 is Iowa State University and Oklahoma State University, so we have lots of customers from those states who come in,” said Novorr.

The Big 12 Tournament always makes for a busy weekend; thousands of people are expected to be downtown. Those people will generate more than $13 million according to Visit KC, and all that goes straight back into the local economy. On top of that, this year the street car makes its debut.

"The visibility of the people going by, looking out the streetcar, seeing the store,” says Novorr of the streetcar's great asset to downtown.

People going to the tournament can now explore shops further along Main Street away from the Power and Light District.

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