I recently attended the NCAA Basketball Tournament at the Sprint Center. Like most downtown arena’s parking is a pain and expensive unless you are staying at one of the downtown hotels and can walk to the venue. Parking within a couple of block of the arena ran $20 to $30, while parking 4-5 blocks away was $15-$20. Once you are able to find parking and get to the arena be prepared to wait in line while you go through security. For the opening round afternoon session it took us almost 30-minutes to get through security and into the arena. When the arena was cleared between the afternoon an evening session it became obvious that the Sprint Center was ill prepared for such a short turn around. We were in line for almost 50-minutes trying to re-enter through security. Getting back into the building took so long that we almost missed the open tip for the evening session. The Sprint Center also has a policy that they will not allow camera’s with detachable lens, while I understand and respect this policy it is not evenly enforced. During both days of the tournament I saw no less than 6 such camera’s near my section. Just getting into the Sprint Center is a huge hassle. However once inside I found the facility clean and well maintained. The staff was polite and professional. Food was overpriced and the selection was standard fair for sports events. There was nothing outstanding or unusual about the food selection. While I enjoyed the games and atmosphere at the Sprint Center the long wait getting through security and the random enforcement of the camera policy soured my visit. Having been to 15-other NCAA Tournament Venues, the parking, security and entry policy at the Sprint Center is one of the worst. I don’t think I will consider making a return anytime soon.
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