Just one week away, arena and venues prepare for NCAA Tournament

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) - In just seven days, thousands of people from near and far will descend on Wichita for the NCAA Tournament.

Preparations inside the arena and venues hosting big events throughout the week continue.

Wednesday morning, crews outside of Intrust Bank Arena could be seen working to hang a big "Welcome to Wichita" sign in front of the arena.

While signs, both big and small, have been placed outside of the arena, inside is a different story.

With a Wichita Thunder hockey game Wednesday night, the ice still remained in the bowl of the arena.

"Over the weekend, we will begin the official transformation into NCAA," said A.J. Boleski, SMG Management.

Boleski says the ice will be removed in order to set up for a concert on Friday.

Following the concert, he says both full-time and part-time staff will work to convert the arena into a basketball facility.

"We are pretty fortunate because we do not have events on Saturday and Sunday this weekend, so we will be probably able to get some sleep on those nights, and our staff converting the building those days, but we will put in some long days Sunday and Monday as well," said Boleski.

Just across the street at Brick & Mortar Event Venue, around the clock preparations are being made to host all the fans that will flock to Wichita for the tourney.

"Full production going on, we've got A/V sound getting ready to go in today, we've got a our glass structured tent on our entertainment pad, which is 9,000 square feet of entertainment area," said Brandy Zogleman, Co-Owner of Brick & Mortar Event Venue.

Zogleman says they've had between 20 and 30 people at any given time making sure both the outside and inside are ready to go for all the festivities next week.

"We're running on adrenaline, so we are, it is full force and we are ready for it," said Zogleman.

While preps for the arena won't kick into full gear until the weekend, Boleski says that won't stop them from being ready for the tournament by Tuesday.

"We want to roll out the red carpet and create a real championship experience for the guests that are in town next week," said Boleski.

This will be the first time Wichita has hosted the NCAA Tournament since 1994.

The last time the tournament came to town, it was held at the Kansas Coliseum in Valley Center.

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