Intrust Bank Arena celebrated a milestone on Monday, when officials unveiled an expanded north entrance to the venue.
Intrust Bank Arena has been preparing to host first and second round action of the 2018 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which is set to arrive at the venue in March. One of the most noticeable changes leading up to that event took place on the arena’s north side, where it has received an expanded entrance.
Officials from Sedgwick County and arena operator SMG took part in Monday’s opening ceremony. During that event, the expanded entrance was touted as a project that will improve egress and ultimately enhance the spectator experience for all events at Intrust Bank Arena. More from The Wichita Eagle:
“The NCAA tournament was the catalyst for this project, but every event, starting with the one tonight, the Foo Fighters, is going to benefit as a result, said arena manager A.J. Boleski.
The project cost about $1.68 million and took seven months to complete.
“I think this is an indication … that we understand how important cultural and entertainment amenities are in our community,” said County Commission Chairman David Unruh, who also spoke at the dedication ceremony. “We believe they make this a better place for individuals to come to our community to live and work and play.”
The new entry almost doubles the amount of foot traffic that can flow through the north end of the building. Where the old north lobby had space for about six metal detectors to scan incoming patrons for weapons, the expansion can handle as many as 10 screening stations at a time, he said.
Intrust Bank Arena will host NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament games on March 15 and 17 of 2018. The venue has also been the home of hockey’s Wichita Thunder (ECHL) since its opening in 2010.