DES MOINES, Iowa — It has been a busy few weeks for the Wells Fargo Arena and the Iowa Events Center, and they are not slowing down the hustle anytime soon. They are preparing for high school boy’s state basketball this week, and for the second time, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in two weeks.
“One new thing this year is that inside the arena this year we will be able to sell beer and wine so that is a new change that the NCAA has made for all the championships. So, you will have that fan amenity in there,” Iowa Events Center Spectra Director of Marketing Adam Flack said.
A big concern back in 2016, when Des Moines first hosted the NCAA Tournament, was how long people had to wait for concessions. The Iowa Events Center is partnering with Hy-Vee to put up some grab and go concession stands as well as put in more vending machines.
Since parking is always an issue during big events like this, they are working with the city and Iowa DOT to make sure traffic patterns are managed and there are shuttles that will take people to and from hotels as well as the additional parking lot at Principal Park.
The Iowa Events Center is asking for volunteers to be posted in the arena, on shuttles, in hotels, or the skywalk to help guide visitors around Des Moines.
“It’s doing what they do every day and that’s being Iowa nice, right? It’s being there to help these people that are coming in potentially from out of town, really help them navigate downtown, navigate and get where they need to go in Des Moines. Whether that be to the arena, whether that be to Court Avenue or one of our local restaurants in West Des Moines or downtown,” Flack said.
Flack said there is a wide variety of volunteer opportunities available, some may interact with the teams that are here or the media in town, but many will interact with people who are coming in from out of town to watch the games.
Volunteers will get free parking downtown, you can sign up to volunteer on the Catch Des Moines website.