Big 12 News

Kansas City Sports Commissioner on Future of Big 12 Tournament: ‘We Don’t Take it for Granted’

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Championship-Iowa State vs West Virginia

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

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


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

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

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


In an interview with KCMO’s Pete Mundo, Nelson said that the city is committed to making sure that the Big 12 Basketball Championships stick around in the Heart of America.

“Absolutely. We do not take that championship for granted,” Nelson said. “Men’s and women’s Big 12 basketball is kind of our Super Bowl for events every year in our city. So, of course we had a great relationship with Commissioner [Bob] Bowlsby before. As soon as Commissioner [Brett] Yormark was in place, he was in Kansas City in October. We hosted Media Day. We continue to solidify our relationships with not only the commissioner and the Big 12 staff, but really the decision comes down to the athletic director, the presidents of the universities involved and the head basketball coaches. So, it’s critical that our community continue to roll out the red carpet in March, that they feel wanted and appreciated and then they know that our city is a powerhouse for hosting this event.

“And that’s important for both, like I said, men’s and women’s, and if you can not get a Big 12 men’s basketball championship ticket, buy a women’s ticket and show them we want them here, that’s critical. And when you think of basketball and our country and Big 12, there’s not a better conference for men and women right now. It’s fantastic. So, I’m so excited. And then a couple weeks later, we host the men’s Midwest Regionals, the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight. Of all years, we have it this year.”

The Big 12 Basketball tournament looks locked into Kansas City for the foreseeable future, and that’s a good thing for the conference and the city. It’s not often that we see a business relationship flourish the way that this one has for so long, but sometimes things just work. And Big 12 basketball in Kansas City, just works.

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