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Arena's opening looms

Considering that Sedgwick County voters approved a downtown arena nearly five years ago, nobody would say that the process has been speedy from start to finish. But it was surprising to learn last week that Dondlinger and Sons might have the Intrust Bank Arena finished by Nov. 1 rather than the contractual date of Jan. 22. How often do multimillion-dollar construction projects come in ahead of schedule? Anticipation was further stoked by recent announcements about the arena leasing club seats, booking the Class 6A and 5A wrestling tournaments for February, and bidding to host first- and second-round games in the 2011, 2012 or 2013 NCAA Tournament. Pretty soon, those who've long dreamed of a downtown arena will be able to take their seats in one.

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