KC’s College Basketball Experience benefits from post-Christmas bout of rainfall

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The day after Christmas gives us no gifts, as far as the weather was concerned.

Wednesday's rainy forecast left families searching for stuff to do, especially with most metro kids on winter break from school. That left many parents, still taking time off from their jobs during Christmas week, searching for indoor activities.

Local attractions like the College Basketball Experience are a popular retreat from the rain, as scores of families from the metro have come to stretch their shots and let the kids run the court. Rain on the roadways usually leads to squeaking shoes on the hardwood.

"We weren't expecting these numbers," Jamaar Brown, manager of basketball operations at the CBE, said Wednesday.

Brown, a Texas native who played college basketball at Missouri Western, said the 140,000-square-foot fun factory, which is housed inside Sprint Center, is used to big turnouts at the gate, but not big crowds so close to Christmas.

"You can see it. Just from the view here. We started out this morning with two families, groups of four. Now, we're up to 100 or 150 on the day," Brown told FOX 4 News. "People are looking for something to do inside."

The College Basketball Experience remains part basketball gym, with areas where the game can be played, and part hall of fame. The College Basketball Hall of Fame sits within the CBE, and it's a hallowed spot where the game's immortals are honored.

Overall, it's a place where families can come to play on rainy days like Wednesday.

Karen Shepherd, a grandmother of three from nearby Grain Valley, said she and her grandkids were happy

"I would say their mom found something to wear them out today," Shepherd laughed.

"It's pretty foggy everywhere. When we came in, it wasn't raining, but it's been raining off and on. It's a good day to go indoors and not go outdoors, for sure."

Being family friendly has a reciprocal effect. Brown told FOX4 when moms and dads bring kids to the CBE, they often learn about corporate events that can be staged here, and that provides this museum with a different kind of basketball traffic.

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