KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s go time at the Sprint Center for the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships.
Within a matter of hours, the arena was transformed into the nation’s foremost gymnastics Mecca for the meet, which begins Thursday and continues through Sunday in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
"Here in the arena, there are five semis worth of equipment,” USA Gymnastics Managing Director of Events and Technology Jeff Smith said.
Smith traveled with the crew from Indianapolis to set up for the event, which isn’t as simple as it sounds, even if it’s done at breakneck speed.
"Most of it is done in a day,” Smith said. “There are about 40 people that are involved in that setup."
For a meet on the scale of the national championships, that requires ‘round-the-clock work, setting up then breaking down various apparatuses needed for the men’s and women’s competitions.
It’s an effort on the part of organizers to ensure the audience experiences a wow factor upon walking in for the meet.
“That's what I am most proud of,” Smith said, “all that planning and preparation to be able to see the athletes when they walk in to get to see that first experience when they walk in."
If you are heading to the Sprint Center this weekend for the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, there are a few things you should know.
First, be wary of fake tickets.
“The best thing that you can do is you can go to usgymchampionships.com ,” Kansas City Sports Commission CEO and President Kathy Nelson said. “It will guide you on where you can purchase your tickets, or the Sprint Center website . That's the best way to do that. Then, you are assured that your ticket will get you in the door."
Second, arrive early. As with all big events, Grand Boulevard in front of the Sprint Center will be closed.
Doors at the Sprint Center opens an hour before each session. Posters will be allowed but are limited to 24 inches by 36 inches.