Downtown Wichita prepares for NCAA tournament

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

In just a month from now, quiet, downtown Wichita streets will be flooded with people.

"I think it's an opportunity not to be missed," basketball fan, Cindy DeRee said.

It's the final push to get downtown Wichita ready to host the first- and second-rounds of March Madness, but some are wondering about the road construction.

"Right now, 1st Street, if you go over there in Old Town, there's a lot of construction. It's torn up. That will come to a pause,” Jason Gregory, Executive Vice President of Downtown Wichita, said.

The road construction will stop during the tournament. The cones and road signs will be removed until after the tournament is over, then construction will pick up again.

Another concern is downtown parking.

"One of the challenges with that first day will be parking because all of the employees will be down here so a lot of the surface lots that are typically available for arena events will have to coordinate, so we're finalizing the parking and shuttle plans right now,” Gregory said.

Some fans were unable to get tickets but still plan on braving the traffic.

"It'll be fun. Just the whole atmosphere of having the tournament. Whether you're going to the games or not, i think it's going to be a good thing,” DeRee said.

While the tournament is only a month away, downtown Wichita is already looking to hosting again in 2021.

"It'll be exciting to see in three years how the downtown landscape has changed,” Gregory said.

Wichita will host the first- and second-rounds of this year's NCAA tournament on March 15th and 17th.

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