Conference officials approved the sites for future Big 12 Championships on Thursday, with Kansas City coming out the big winner as the venue for the lucrative men’s basketball tournament for five more years through the 2019-20 season.
The Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City, Mo., has been the venue for the men’s basketball championship since 2010. The new agreement, which kicks in in 2017, will extend the length of time that the Sprint Center has been the home of the men’s basketball tournament to 11 consecutive years.
The Big 12 men’s basketball tournament has been a sell out at the 18,000-seat Sprint Center the last two years, and the session attendance average at the 2014 tournament was the third largest in conference history.
Kansas City civic officials have estimated that the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship generates approximately $9 million annually in economic revenue for the city. Over the next five years, the economic stimulus is estimated to be around $45 million.
In other decisions on championship sites for the future, Oklahoma City will continue to host the women’s basketball tournament (at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, where the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA play), as well as the baseball championship (at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark). Pending final contract negotiations, the women’s hoops tourney will remain there through 2019; the baseball championship will run through 2020.
Kansas City will also host the women’s soccer championship and the wrestling championship in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Men’s gymnastics will hold its conference championship at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco, Texas in 2016, the Indoor Track & Field Championships will be held at Iowa State in 2015 and the Outdoor Championships at TCU.