The NCAA Wrestling Tournament is expected to bring in 25,000 people, and that's just from out of state. It's a big undertaking, for any city, but Des Moines leaders said they’re ready. The Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau has spent three years planning this event.
“The last 6 months weekly meetings and we've talked about everything from the little things like welcome signs and welcome banners to notifying the restaurants of the break times for the event. I think we've covered everything pretty well,” said Greg Edwards with the CVB.
The tournament is expected to attract more than 90,000 people. A big focus by organizers has been making sure all those people have places to park. The CVB says not having a designated parking structure for big events like this has forced them to be even more organized. With things like parking and transportation planned down to a tee, local business can put their focus elsewhere.
“We`re planning some big events; not only court avenue is going to be bustling, we`re going to put some tents out here,” said Jeff Duncan, the Director of Operations for “Big City Burgers and Greens” and “Dos Rios”.
The weather this year isn't anywhere near as warm as it was last year, so many restaurants downtown are working together to make sure the cold doesn't keep people away. One way is through heated tents.