KU’s disappointing early exit at Big 12 Championship leaves businesses anxious about weekend

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- KU fans packed the Power & Light District and the Sprint Center hoping for a win on Thursday. Many fans took off soon after, and sold their tickets to fans of other teams still in the running.

“It was kind of flaky there that last call, the foul at the end, I didn’t agree with that, but we still got a good shot at NCAA,” said Kenny Hill, a KU fan.

“A little disappointed at the end, we’ve won a lot of those close games at the end this year, but just didn’t quite have it,” added Bruce Bundy, another KU fan.

KU fans took the loss in stride, but now some are selling their tickets and planning to watch the rest of the Big 12 Championship elsewhere.

“We wanted to see KU, and that was really the only team we wanted to see, we can go sit in our easy chair and watch the other games,” said Jeanie Bundy, another KU fan.

Businesses are booming thanks to all the fans in town, and they’re loving it.

“All hands on deck, a lot of long hours, but everyone knows this is the week that’s going to make their bank,” said Ray Downey, the General Manager of Gordon Bierch.

“Big 12 Tournament is a great thing for us, it’s a great thing for the city, great thing for the community, great thing for all the bars in Power and Light,” added Ryan Winkler, the Director of Operations For Bar Louie.

And although some fans might prefer to watch elsewhere now that their team is out…

“The ideal matchup in this event is a KU/Iowa State matchup on Saturday afternoon at 5, unfortunately we’re not going to get that this year, so were kind of anxious to see how it’s going to turn out,” Downey added.

The businesses downtown and other fans don’t think there will be any shortage of people.

“True fans will be here,” Hill said.

“It’s the environment of the tournament, all the events are going on outside of the tournament, out on the street, all of the people…it’s Mardi Gras in March for us, is what this is,” said Downey.

“Tomorrow is just going to be a great day, Iowa State fans are going to pack Power and Light, and I know the vendors love having Iowa State here, and we love being here,” said Tim Wolf, an Iowa State Fan.

Businesses had long waits, and it didn't look like the party was stopping any time soon.