BY ASHLEY ARNOLD
Wichita restaurants and bars spent Thursday preparing for a busy weekend as all three Kansas schools will make an appearance in the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on St. Patrick’s Day.
Kansas, Kansas State and Wichita State are slated to tip-off on Friday night within an hour of each other. Business owners around the city told KSN they are expecting record crowds. KSN asked Wichita police what they are doing to make sure fans are safe.
“It’s going to be insane in here,” said Pumphouse Assistant General Manager Matthew Jones. “We will see people skipping work tomorrow about noon so that’s what time I’m going to have a door guy already here.”
Jones said it will be all hands on deck at Pumphouse. He said he will have eight security guards on duty during peak hours, particularly during the evening basketball games.
“We will have security here all day long, not that we necessarily need it, but it’s also part of protocol. It’s better to lead a situation than to be behind the eight-ball when something does come along,” Jones said.
Wichita police will also have an additional presence in Old Town over the weekend. Officials told KSN there will be officers on foot, bike and horse.
Jason Van Sickle, the President of the Old Town Association, said he’s pleased with the extra security.
“What the police department provides is traffic control and making sure people are finding their way around because people who come down here for these tournaments and want to watch the games want to have a good, fun, clean time,” said Jason Van Sickle.