When asked for his thoughts on how the Kansas State basketball team’s first trip to Intrust Bank Arena went last week, Idol Sports & Entertainment director John Hines had nothing but good things to say.
His company organized the game and worked with K-State and West Virginia to turn it into reality. With a sellout crowd of more than 15,000 packing the building and creating a terrific basketball atmosphere, he is hopeful the Wildcats will want to play in Wichita again as soon as next year.
“From Idol Sports Standpoint the event went very well for first attempt,” Hines said via e-mail. “As with any event there are issues with the Arena and some of our marketing campaigns that can always be improved on.
“But what really helped was the way the Wichita Sports Commission, gowichita.com folks, and positive media will help us convince K-State to return to Wichita very soon. Although the outcome of the game was not what K-State was hoping to achieve I do believe they saw enough from the atmosphere to consider a return.
“Idol will approach the team this week and see if a return game will be in the cards for 2012, but we are holding out hope it is. The only downside is I am not sure how we can repeat such an amazing game with two very good, very well coached teams.”
K-State basketball coach Frank Martin is working with athletic director John Currie to figure out when, and how often, the Wildcats should return to Wichita. The game could turn into an every-year tradition, become an every-other-year trip or only occur sporadically.
But Martin has said his team will be back at some point for another game.
“How could I say no after the way this city embraced us?” Martin said last week. “We’ve got to find a way to make it work.”