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What you need to know to get your peek inside Intrust Bank Arena

Sedgwick County, meet Intrust Bank Arena.

The wait is over to see what your tax dollars built.

Today is the grand opening and open house for the arena. General manager Chris Presson expects 15,000 to 30,000 people — not all at once — to wander through the area's newest venue for concerts, sports and other events.

Open house organizers hope visitors will bring non-perishable food items to donate to the Kansas Food Bank.

Here's what you need to know to get your peek inside:

When is the open house?

Doors open at 10:30 a.m. today at 500 E. Waterman with a performance by the Marching Cobras of Kansas City.

The ribbon-cutting — not by commissioners or the mayor but by 7-year-old coloring contest winner Kaydyn Davison — will be at 11 a.m. The open house continues through 5 p.m.

Is the open house free?

Yes.

What entrance do I use?

Entrances on the north and south sides will be open. They are Entrances A, B and C.

What will I get to see?

About 90 employees and volunteers will give tours. Among other features, you'll get to see the arena bowl, star dressing rooms, Thunder hockey locker rooms and a party suite.

What else can I do?

The ribbon-cutting will be followed by indoor pyrotechnics and balloons. Then you can play Guitar Hero, take jump shots, practice shooting hockey pucks, have your face painted and get a close look at the Zamboni ice groomer.

And don't forget the food. You can sample select arena concessions for $1.

I heard there's a drawing for two free tickets to every event this year. Is that true?

Yes. Register at the arena and you could win the "Golden Ticket," sponsored by KWCH. The winner will be announced at the arena at the end of the open house. You do not need to be present to win.

Where do I park?

City lots, both publicly and privately owned, will be open and free. See the map on Page 3A..

Will downtown trolleys be running?

Yes. Four trolleys will ferry guests across downtown from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can catch a trolley every 7 1/2 minutes at the arena or at any intersection along the route. You also can park at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium or Exploration Place and take the trolley to the arena.

The trolley will leave from the arena, go north to Douglas, Douglas to Mosley, north on Mosley to Second, west on Second to Broadway, south on Broadway to Douglas, west on Douglas to Waco, north on Waco to First Street, past Exploration Place, south on McLean to Douglas, Douglas west to Sycamore, Sycamore south past Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, east on Maple, past the Hyatt, east on Waterman to Emporia, north on Emporia to William and back to William and St. Francis.

The clockwise route will travel west on William to Topeka, south on Topeka to Waterman and then the reverse of the counterclockwise route. You can see a map at www.downtownwichita.org. The map also was printed in a special advertising section of The Eagle on Dec. 13.

Is the trolley free?

Yes.

Will police be directing traffic?

Yes. Fifteen officers — on foot, bicycle and in patrol cars — will be dedicated to the arena.

Are there other free chances to see the arena?

Yes. Two are scheduled.

From 6 to 9 p.m. on Jan. 12, ROK ICT, which organizes the First Friday music crawls, will have three local bands playing the arena's main stage while arena tours are given.

From 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 26, people can meet and skate with the Wichita Thunder. It's free, and skates will be provided for those who don't have them.

Inside the Arena

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