There was about as much action on the football field, a short walk down the hill from the Oread, last Saturday as there was around the hotel’s surrounding streets. That action would be little, considering the 6-3 loss the Jayhawks suffered in Memorial Stadium and the few people strolling the streets that the Oread had hoped would be full of partiers.
While not much was happening Saturday, the City Commission’s decision to allow the Oread to host “street parties” in connection with Kansas University home football games could have a lingering and poor precedent-setting effect.
After the poor turnout for the neighborhood party, Oread leaders say they don’t plan to have any more street parties and will limit game-day action to inside the hotel.
That makes sense. Despite the opening of the Oread, its surrounding neighborhood still remains a community of single-family homes, churches and apartment complexes. The Oread’s location at 12th Street and Oread Avenue, near a main entrance to the campus, makes it problematic to extend activities to the surrounding area. Such a compact community doesn’t need additional traffic that a football crowd could generate.
Anyway, such parties should be happening downtown, which has the infrastructure to accommodate such events. And a party downtown also benefits more than just one business; it helps dozens.
City and civic leaders should continue to focus their energy on keeping downtown vital and relevant. On football and basketball game days, fans and revelers continue to start and end their days downtown.
Let’s make sure that keeps happening.