KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Early signs show demand for NCAA Midwest Regional games in Kansas City could be down compared to other parts of the nation.
Projections are the NCAA Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games will generate $14.5 million in economic impact.
At Kansas City’s Power & Light, it was empty Thursday in front of the big screen as games in high demand tipped off in New York City and Las Vegas.
Tickets for those games, including the East Regional featuring Kansas State, were more than $100 a piece at the cheapest.
But for games in Kansas City on Friday, you can find tickets on the secondary market much cheaper, at less than $50 for games featuring the top two seeds in the Midwest Region, Houston and Texas. Houston takes on Miami while Texas will meet Xavier.
“You’ve got the Final Four that’s going to be local in Houston, so I think you see a few less fans from those schools that are travelling here. I think they have confidence they are going to see their fans in the next round.”
About 30 fans were at a welcome party for Houston Cougars alumni inside No Other Pub Thursday.
“Real Coug fans follow the Cougs okay, we have a large fanbase rallying,” Bridget Otts said promising more fans would arrive Friday.
Michael and Shari Lopez were the lone Texas fans we found at Johnny’s Tavern. They are part of the sellout crowd for the games initially expected to bring in that $14.5 million economic impact to Kansas City.
“We do the same thing for other sports and make sure we see sights for that area most of them are really nice areas and there are a lot of things to do,” Michael Lopez said.
“As you think about those fans witnessing and exposed to things in Kansas City, that’s an opportunity we wouldn’t normally get. When you are not only on a national tv stage and audience you of course having those fans in your community and experiencing all KC has to offer that’s unique and we make sure that’s very special for them,” Visit KC and Kansas City Sports Commission President Kathy Nelson said.