By Addie Olson
The NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships will draw in thousands of fans to downtown Des Moines and Wells Fargo Arena.
"It's a huge event for Des Moines," said Adam Flack of the Iowa Events Center. "We've been working on getting this event since the building opened in 2005."
With that many people flooding into the city, getting to the arena could be a little tricky.
"It's going to be busy," Flack said. "Obviously Thursday, Friday and Saturday we've got downtown traffic coming to work, but then you've also got over 16,000 people coming down trying to get into this arena for an early morning start of a session. There will be more traffic, but I think we've put together some great plans for people."
Those plans include a boost to DART's route 52 bus. It runs from Valley West Mall down to the arena.
"What we're doing is putting extra buses on there, so they're running as often as every 10 minutes and we're running them later into the evening," said DART spokesman Gunnar Olson. "The Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the tournament, those buses are going to be running up until midnight."
Rush hour traffic could be more hectic. To keep things running smoothly, they're asking people entering from the east to take the 6th Street exit and park down at Principal Park.
Those coming from the west should take the 7th Street exit and leave their cars at the park and ride.
Most importantly, Flack said to enjoy the moment.
"Embrace the fact that we have the national eyes on Des Moines, Iowa," Flack said. "Come be a part of the festival or come into the arena if you've got a ticket and just enjoy it."
Detailed transportation maps and other information about the tournament can be found at www.ncaa.com/wrestling and http://www.catchdesmoines.com/wrestlingdm/. Questions about DART's service during the tournament can be answered by calling 515-283-8100.