March Madness plus Kansas teams equals winning combo for businesses

College hoops fans were in abundance Thursday at Emerson Biggin's in west Wichita, and it was a packed sports bar for the KU game.
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 8:21 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - It will be a busy few weeks for college basketball fans. For Wichita businesses, the longer Kansas teams survive in the NCAA Tournament, the better. Kansas cruised in its opener Thursday against Howard. Kansas State takes the floor Friday night in its NCAA opener against Montana State.

To kickstart March Madness in Wichita, KU fans gathered at watch parties Thursday afternoon, including at Emerson Biggins on the west side of town.

“If you’re in the sports bar industry, you live for March Madness, especially in Kansas,” said Emmerson Biggins West Managing Partner Sharon Dopps.

Thursday, Emmerson Biggins more than doubled its staff during the lunch hour. The business is planning for extra staff again Friday night and for any game with a Kansas team. In addition to Kansas State playing Friday night, Friday is St. Patrick’s Day, adding another draw for what’s expected to be a large crowd.

“It’s so fun. I love the environment,” Dopps said. “I love the atmosphere. I love basketball and it’s just good vibes all around, especially when they win.”