While the Manhattan high faithful may have their attentions focused on the Lady Indian’s run to the state title at the 6A state basketball tournament in Wichita, the Manhattan Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is focused on accommodating thousands of people who have traveled to town this week for the 2A state basketball tournament.

Manhattan CVB director Karen Hibbard said this is Manhattan’s twenty-eighth year of hosting the tournament at Bramlage Coliseum. Hibbard was appointed site manager by the Kansas High School Athletics Association, and said she expects anywhere from 12,000 to 20,000 fans to visit for the tournament, which started on Wednesday and lasts until the girls’ title game on Saturday. The fans and students are expected to inject nearly one million dollars into the economy by the end of the weekend with dollars being spent at local hotels, restaurants, and retailers.

While the Fake Patty’s Day celebration may also be this weekend, Hibbard said the CVB is more focused on the outcome of a successful tournament weekend.

“Our concentration is making sure 2A fans have a great experience,” said Hibbard. “They are here to win a championship, but they are also here to look at the community as a place they might be calling “home” in the next few years as they’re in the process of selecting a college.”

Sixteen teams from all reaches of the state are competing in the weekend’s tournament. Hibbard contributes the continued success of the Manhattan tournament to the strong leadership of her many volunteers.

Each of the 16 teams is appointed a host who guides them around town throughout their visit to Manhattan. Hibbard said each team host takes on the role of “local fan” as they recommend various establishments and points of interest during down times.

Hibbard noted many 2A teams are located in less-populous communities which may not have the shopping amenities offered in Manhattan, which really helps drive up spending and help increase the chances of a return visit to the Little Apple.



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Source: KMAN Local News