Local businesses slow down with WSU out of the tournament

WICHITA,  Kansas –  The 2014 Final Four in the NCAA Tournament kicks off this weekend.

Unlike last year, the Wichita State Shocker basketball team won’t be there vying for a championship.

The epic run the Shockers had last year gave a boom to a lot of local businesses, but is one that isn’t being duplicated this year.

Larry Bud’s Sports Bar & Grill says they expect to have a steady crowd this weekend for the games, but not nearly as many people as they saw this time last year.

“It’s not going to be open my door at 11 and fill my whole place and have it filled the whole day,” said Kyle Smith, Nightly Operations Manager at Larry Bud’s East.

Smith says he expects to see maybe half the amount of foot traffic he had for the Final Four last year.

“Last year during the Final Four, I closed down my parking lot, and I had close to 200 to 300 people in my parking lot,” said Smith.

Smith says that’s a steady amount of people that won’t be spending three dollars to buy a beer or eight dollars to buy a hamburger.

Other businesses are seeing things slow down and go back to normal.

Tad’s Locker Room had people lined up down the sidewalk last year, as people waited to get into the store and snatch up some Shocker gear.

Tad Snarenberger, the owner of Tad’s Locker Room, says this year has been a different story.

“We had a lot of hot market shirts last year, I think we went through 34 different styles of shirts, this year we’re not in the tournament, so we don’t even have that product to sell,” said Snarenberger.

Snarenberger wouldn’t give exact figures of how sales have been.

He did say with the Shockers and other Kansas teams no longer in the tournament, the same kind of business he saw last year isn’t being generated.

“It’s not there this year, you have to have a reason for it and you know the guys aren’t in it there, so we’ve got to create it,” said Snarenberger.

Without the boom in , some places have turned to other avenues to make up for it.

Larry Bud’s owner Will Harmon says they’ve turned to booking private parties.  Harmon says they are using this as a way to make up for the revenue that won’t be generated with having the Shockers, or other Kansas teams in the Final Four this year.

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