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Kansas City is part to keep the Big 12 Tourney long term

The Big 12 Basketball Tournament has been held in Kansas City 20 of the 25 years the tournament has been held (withholding 2020 due to COVID-19), and there’s good reason for that.

Over the years, Kansas City has become synonymous with Big 12 basketball, and that partnership looks set to continue to thrive into a bright and exciting future.

In June of 2022, the Big 12 Conference approved a two-year extension for Kansas City to host league basketball tournaments during the 2026-2027 season.

“Kansas City has been a valued partner, demonstrating a true dedication to making these tournaments the best postseason basketball event in the country,” said former Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “As we prepare to welcome four new schools in the next few years, I am confident Kansas City will continue to deliver a first-class championship experience for our athletes, administrators, fans and partners.”

Kansas City Sports Commissioner Kathy Nelson further painted a picture of a budding relationship between Kansas City and the Big 12 Conference on Friday.

In an interview with KCMO’s Pete Mundo, Nelson said the city is committed to ensuring the Big 12 Basketball Championships remain in America’s heartland.

“Absolutely. We don’t take that championship for granted,” said Nelson. “The men’s and women’s Big 12 basketball is kind of our Super Bowl for the events that are held every year in our city. So obviously we had a very good relationship with the Commissioner [Bob] Bowlsby first. As soon as Commissioner [Brett] Yorkmark was fine, he was in Kansas City in October. We organized Media Day. We continue to strengthen our relationships not only with the commissioner and staff of the Big 12, but in reality the decision rests with the athletic director, the presidents of the universities involved and the head basketball coaches. So, it’s imperative that our community continue to roll out the red carpet in March, feel wanted and valued, and then know that our city is a powerhouse to host this event.

“And that’s important to both, like I said, men and women, and if you can’t get a ticket to the Big 12 men’s basketball league, buy a women’s ticket and show them we want them here, that’s critical. And when you think about basketball and our country and the Big 12, there’s no better conference for men and women right now. Is fantastic. So, I’m so excited. And then, a couple weeks later, we host the Men’s Midwest Regionals, the Sweet 16, and the Elite Eight. Of all the years, we have it this year.

The Big 12 Basketball tournament looks stuck in Kansas City for the foreseeable future, and that’s a good thing for the conference and the city. It’s not often you see a business relationship blossom like this for so long, but sometimes things work out. And Big 12 basketball in Kansas City works.

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