LAWRENCE, Kan. — Tip-off in New Orleans is less than 24 hours away as the team prepares for the big game along with the businesses that line downtown Lawrence.
Places like Molcajetes in downtown Lawrence say it’s an all hands on deck effort as the musicians line Mass St. giving Jayhawk fans that didn’t make the trip to NOLA a taste of the Big easy on MT. Oread.
“It was actually really amazing. There was a great turnout, everyone was really happy. Once we won, the chaos that happened afterwards, incredible. It’s been awhile, we needed something like this,” said Michaela Jernberg of Red Lyon Tavern, when talking about Saturday’s crowd.
Restaurants, gift shops and clothing stores were packed to the max as people flooded the center of the city.
“There was a line out the door even when everyone was rushing downtown. It was just crazy busy, I know we had a wait for like 2 hours,” said Anna Holiday of Molcajetes Tacos and Tequila.
Not only was Saturday a lot of fun for fans, but it was also safe and responsible as well.
“It was insane, but in like the midwest community vibes, there was no destructions, no citations, nothing crazy like that, just a bunch of people enjoying the fact that we’re going to the championship game,” said Derek Long, employee at The Third Planet.
The Lawrence Police Department reported zero issues and they say they are ready and prepared for tomorrow. They estimated nearly 20,000 people spread throughout the streets of downtown Saturday night after their win against Villanova and they expect that number to quintuple Monday Night.
“Being on the corner of Ninth and Mass, I feel like no matter what is going on in the community, if it’s somewhere around downtown, we feel like we’re the heart of it,” said Long.
These businesses all say that the Jayhawks make for really good business.
“It’s really great for business. It’s called March Madness for a reason so it’s definitely helped out a lot for us,” said Jernberg.
Now the focus is on making sure they are more than ready to go for whatever Monday’s celebrations may throw at them.
“We got all hands on deck for tomorrow. I know we’re going to be here after close, setting up margaritas, getting everything ready,” said Holiday.
Plenty of places to tune into the game but none will be like the watch party inside of Allen Fieldhouse, doors opening at 7:15pm for anyone that wants to join in on the fun.
“Beak em’ let’s win this championship,” said Long in excitement for the Jayhawks big game.
“Have fun as well, it’s going to be a great time and KU will pull through for sure,” Jernberg said.
There’s one common theme between all of the businesses we talked with. They say working this is so much fun, so they’re looking forward to it and they say every single second is going to be absolutely worth it!
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