The way downtown Lawrence merchants see it, there’s no reason football needs to be big business just during the fall.
Downtown merchants on Saturday will make a play for increased business related to Kansas University’s spring football game — which begins at 1 p.m. at Memorial Stadium — with sidewalk sales, buskers and a kids zone.
“The spring game is a big event for a lot of schools,” said Jane Pennington, director of Downtown Lawrence Inc. “It makes perfect sense for it to be a big deal here.”
Among the activities slated for downtown on Saturday:
• Merchants will be allowed to display and sell merchandise on the downtown sidewalks throughout the day.
• Buskers and musicians will be performing in front of the US Bank Tower building at Ninth and Massachusetts streets before and after the game.
• Hy-Vee will sponsor a kids zone that features inflatable playground equipment from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on a section of Eighth Street immediately west of Massachusetts. The section of street, which stretches to the alley between Massachusetts and Vermont, will be closed to traffic.
• Free parking will be available at the Ninth and New Hampshire parking garage on Saturday, and free bus service from downtown to Memorial Stadium also will be provided from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In addition to the events downtown, a kids zone and a free bike helmet giveaway will run from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. just outside Memorial Stadium.
The game, which will be the first for new coach Turner Gill, is free for the public to attend.