Despite coronavirus concerns, Big 12 Tournament is moving ahead as normal

Local Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) – Crews spent Tuesday setting up the finishing touches outside of the Sprint Center for the 2020 Big 12 Tournament.

Among the activities and games, hand sanitizer kiosks placed all around the Power and Light District.

Thousands are expected to fill the area over the next few days.

“We got in today, from New York,” said Maureen Kiedaiseh. “Never been before, Kind of a bucket list item. Get to see our Kansas Jayhawks play in the Big 12, so it’s good.”

Kiedaiseh and her husband not letting concerns of the virus stop their plans, planning to root on their favorite team.

“My husband watched Kansas play in Madison Square Garden for a lot of years, Larry Brown, an old coach for Kansas was the New York Connection, so he became a fan. We got married, 20 years later, I’m a big fan, so we’ve gone to Lawrence to see them play, we’ve seen them when they come into New York into the Garden,” said Kiedaiseh.

Restaurants are also expecting a busy week.

The owner of McFaddens, Andrew Izrael, says he is planning to open early to service the anticipated big crowds.

“It’s definitely all hands on deck from there we do hire up pretty heavily between our bars, restaurants and nightclub to make sure we have everything covered because there is a lot of people coming and it takes a lot of people to take care of everyone,” said Izrael.

Visit KC estimates the city will make roughly $20 million dollars from the event.

With coronavirus in the background of it all, health officials are reminding people to use basic hygiene practices, like washing your hands, and staying at home if you are sick.

The first round of the tournament begins Wednesday.

The Championship game is Saturday.

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