Looking Ahead; Des Moines Plans to Amp Up the City Before Placing Another Bid to Host NCAA Tournament

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DES MOINES, Iowa  —  The tournament is not even over, and Des Moines is already looking ahead to the next time they place a bid to host the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Before hosting the tournament this year, Des Moines added the new Hilton hotel and addressed one of the biggest concerns of the last tournament, concessions.

“Set up a deal with Hy-Vee, one of our partners, to have grab-and-go points to sell. So, people can get food quickly, in and out of lines, we’re also setting up vending machines all around the concourse, lower and upper, so if you just want a drink you don’t have to stand in a long concession line,” Iowa Events Center General Manager Chris Connolly said.

The bidding cycle happens every four years, and we are in the first of those four years so we have another three before Des Moines has another opportunity to bid. But in the meantime, there will be some big hotel additions before the next time the men’s basketball tournament is in town. The Fairfield Inn by the airport will be renovated. Des Moines’ skyline will look a little different as the building called “The Fifth” located on Walnut and Court downtown will be completed. The Midland Building, on 6th avenue, will be fully renovated. Plus, Hotel Fort Des Moines, on 10th and Walnut will also be renovated.

Catch Des Moines wants Des Moines’ hospitality to speak for itself.

“It’s really all about the players, the athletes, the coaches, and the fans, too. And I think if we treat the athletes and coaches and the schools right, the fans are going to feel that love and the joy will spread,” Catch Des Moines’ Greg Edwards said.

Edwards also said the recreational water trails project downtown may also be completed in the next five years so that is something residents and fans can look forward to as well.


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