I’m quite the fan of live music and enjoying a concert is one of the many things I love about Wichita. There are four venues that I find easy to navigate and with a few helpful tips, you can too.
Charles Koch Arena
Charles Koch Arena, home to Wichita State University Shockers basketball team and other sports, is another great venue. The handicap parking spaces are limited. The last basketball game I went to I had to pay $10 for parking, so have some cash on you to avoid a trip to an ATM.
But once inside the arena, the floors are similar to the ones at INTRUST Bank Arena. They are easy to glide across, but don’t get too carried away. It’s a nice arena, and the basketball games can be electric! No pun intended for the WuShock, the muscle-bound bundle of wheat that serves as the school’s mascot. The bathrooms are nice, the people are generous and there are concessions everywhere.
INTRUST Bank Arena
INTRUST Bank Arena, Wichita’s biggest arena, is extremely easy to get around. Their floors almost make you feel like you’re gliding, which is an obvious advantage. But don’t get too carried away because this place is packed most of the time. Unless you call ahead and are able to get a parking pass next to the arena, you will have to park a little distance away. To the common person, this is no big deal because they can cross over the curbs and jaywalk their way right to the arena. Now to us folks on wheels, it can be a bit of a journey.
Once inside, there is one option for an elevator. Since most people take the escalators, the elevators are generally less crowded. There are lots of handicap places to park yourself once you are inside the arena. So unless you are behind a 7-footer, you should be golden!
The Cotillion is one Wichita’s smaller concert venues, but if you like intimate concerts that make you feel like you are in the middle of the action, this place is awesome! I have a few things to make you aware of to ensure you have the best time. The parking lot can be a little of a pain. There are a lot of handicap parking spaces, but you have to arrive early because they get taken. I’ve been allowed to park closer to the front, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Once you’re inside, you’ll notice it’s one big circle around the general admission area and most of the times it is a free-for-all depending on the performer. The outside circle is where you will find the bars, bathroom and seating area. The bars and the general admission areas have portable metal ramps that can be a little steep. They’re easy to manage, but it’s just something to be aware of. I always use the ramps, but I’ve seen people wheelie down a step. It’s not impossible, but it can be avoided.
The concerts that have a full house can be tough to find a spot to see. However, try going from the side of the stage and working your way up to the front if you want to be close. The outside area has many places to post up and enjoy from a distance if you don’t want to crush toes on your way through a crowd.
Hartman Arena is another fun place to go, especially for concerts. It’s almost a mixture of the places I described so far. It’s slightly smaller than INTRUST Bank Arena, and once inside it has a small concert feel like The Cotillion. The parking lot has tons of parking, but it’s on a little hill. Depending on which side you park, it can get tiring. If they have a concert in the parking lot, which I’ve only seen once, the downward slope is in our favor. Getting back up is a different story, but it’s not impossible.
Inside the arena, the outside circle is easy to get around. It doesn’t have gliding floors, but they’re even and easy to get around. They have a decent amount of handicap spots. I’ve noticed some seats have been harder to see, but people are generally friendly enough that they will move so you can see.
I hope if you’re visiting Wichita and gong to one of these venues that you will find this helpful! I am here to be a guiding wheel in this thing we call life. Stay courageous, my friends!