OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Hotel rooms will be hard to come by in Overland Park starting Sunday as thousands of students, coaches and educators arrive for the National Speech and Debate Tournament.
About 7,000 people altogether, including more than 4,000 middle- and high school students, are expected to be in the northeast Kansas community for the weeklong event.
The Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau says that 17,800 hotel rooms have been booked for the tournament, about 85 percent of the city's entire hotel inventory. That's more than double the 8,800 rooms booked in 2013 for the U.S. Youth Soccer national championship.
Students will compete in a range of categories, including policy debate, dramatic interpretation and congressional debate. Events will be held at the Overland Park Convention Center and at several public schools.