Thursday, March 28, 2013
Kansas basketball fans are expected to pour into the Dallas area by the thousands later today as they prepare to cheer the Jayhawks on in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
The city is excited for the fans' arrival.
Dallas rolled out the figurative red and blue carpet Wednesday for the Jayhawks before they arrived at the team hotel.
The city is excited to have some storied basketball programs coming to town as well as the team grabbing the nation's attention during this year's tournament: Florida Gulf Coast.
"They're definitely the Cinderella, but Kansas is coming in, too, as a number-one seed," said Monica Paul, Vice President of Sports for the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau. "We're expecting a big turnout down at Cowboys Stadium."
While the Jayhawks are in Dallas and Arlington, they're in the hands of James Lowery. He is a Dallas-based bus driver who has plenty of experience carting college and professional sports teams.
"We carried five of the NFL teams that played the Cowboys this past year," Lowery said. "We do the employee shuttle at the stadium on Cowboy games and other events."
On game days, however, James is responsible for getting the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders to and from the stadium.
"Somebody's got to do it," he joked.
This week, though, he is dedicated to the Jayhawks. KU fans may find some encouragement in how long he is planning on being with the team.
"I'll have them until they leave on Sunday," Lowery said.
The business community is excited to showcase Dallas this year, in preparation for putting the city on an even bigger basketball stage next year, when Dallas Cowboys Stadium hosts the Final Four.
The first chance for basketball fans in Texas to see the Jayhawks will be Thursday afternoon, when they take the court at 2:10 p.m. inside Cowboys Stadium to practice.