KCI handling influx of NCAA Tournament bound passengers

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 9:15 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - KCTV5′s March Madness coverage extends much further than the T-Mobile Center as people are driving or flying to town.

Wallethub.com reports $300 million is projected for the city of Houston hosting the Final Four this year and millions are expected to flow into Kansas City being a host city for the Sweet 16.

The Kansas City Sports Commission estimates $14.5 million are coming to the city because of these three games downtown. The cheapest tickets on Ticketmaster show $27 as of Thursday night and T-Mobile seats 18,000 people so that’s $486,000 on tickets alone.

KCI is now home to several local restaurants and shops that should see some new faces and more money as well. Several national and regional news reporters are tweeting how KCI has changed drastically for the better. Including Tracy Wolfson who tweeted in November that she had to order Domino pizzas to the old terminal.

Although there are no local teams playing in KC, that doesn’t change the festivities going on around downtown for the fans coming in.

Houston has a list of plans with their alumni association. They had a welcome party Thursday night at No Other Pub in the Power and Light District. Friday, they’ll be at the Intercontinental Hotel at the Plaza to have a team sendoff, then a pregame party at Guy Fieri’s Dive and Taco Joint from 3-5 p.m. Saturday plans are up in the air if they win, but right now they are planned to be at the World War I Museum and Memorial for a group photo at noon.

Miami fans are having a pre-game party from 3-6 p.m. at No Other Pub Friday for that game against Houston.

Texas fans will have a team sendoff as well at 6:45 p.m. at the Westin Crown Center, followed by a pre-game part at Taps on Main in the Crossroads.

Finally, we have Xavier fans traveling in for a pre-game pep rally outside McFadden’s at 5:30 p.m.

One Xavier fan is making the trip with three buddies right now – they left at 5 a.m. David Roberdeaux is an MBA student and lifelong fan. He said he’s only missed five home games in his life.

He’s never been to KC, but he’s excited to see what it’s all about -- especially the BBQ.

“I think it’s a great weekend for the city too. It brings a lot of revenue into local bars and restaurants and really helps out the community and economy. Which is why we’re trying to find any local restaurant we can to support local places instead of chain restaurants,” he said. “Instead of going through the McDonald’s drive-thru, we want to go to a local BBQ place and support that.”