P&L district prepares for Big 12 Championship

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Big 12 Championship week is the biggest business week for many of restaurants and retailers downtown.
The KC Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates 150,000 people will descend on downtown in the next four days and drop $9 million.

Johnny's Tavern in the Power and Light District said its staff starts preparing early in the year.

"It's our busiest week of the year, when the calendar turns January 1, we start planning for this week," Kyle Witherspoon with Johnny’s Tavern said.

The better the local teams like the University of Kansas and Kansas State University do inside the Sprint Center, the better the business is through Saturday.

Some clothing boutiques said they even change up their merchandise and load up on team colors for this basketball week.

One retailer, The Garment District, said its staff pours the bubbly for the men while the ladies do the shopping.
The Kansas City Sports Commission said even without the University of Missouri in the conference anymore, the Big 12 Championship games sold out in the Sprint Center in five days.

"I think this is the ticket to have. I think when you think about it, where else can you see KU, K-State, Iowa State, TCU, West Virginia, Texas? You can't go anywhere else to see this excitement and energy," Kathy Nelson with the Kansas City Sports Commission said.

The KC Sports Commission has added a few new activities to the outdoor Fan Fest this year.  Each team will participate in a new Big 12 “BBQ U” contest. A representative will be in Kansas City for each team and there will be sanctioned judges.

The KC Sports Commission also said the Big 12 chooses host cities based on the fan fest experience both inside and outside of the basketball court.

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