KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship returns to Kansas City for an unprecedented 12th time, March 13-16. Having hosted the hoops championship more than any other city, KC is no stranger to entertaining Big 12 fans. Before you pack up the foam fingers and follow your team to Kansas City, here’s a look at what’s in store for Championship Week. For more information, visit the Official Fan Information Site at VisitKC.com/Big12Basketball.
Six Tips for Basketball Fans
1. Get your hands on some great seats
An additional block of all-session tickets has been made available for the general public. The purchasing opportunity is available at SprintCenter.com while supplies last. Upper-level tickets are $195 and lower-level are $330, with a maximum purchase of four all-session tickets per person.
2. Enter to win the ultimate fan prize package
Cheer on your favorite team in style by entering the Big 12 Champions Getaway. The Kansas City prize package includes two all-session tickets to the Men’s Championship, plus accommodations, gift cards and more. Enter before March 8 at VisitKC.com/Big12Basketball.
3. Be a part of the game day atmosphere
The official fan fest, Big 12 GameDay presented by Phillips 66, will be located just outside Sprint Center on Grand Boulevard. The free, interactive experience will feature basketball challenges, music, mascots, autograph opportunities and promotional giveaways from the conference’s corporate partners. Go to VisitKC.com/Big12Basketball for a schedule.
4. Mix and mingle with other basketball fans
Just across the street from the Championship action at Sprint Center is the Kansas City Power & Light District—eight blocks of restaurants, nightclubs and entertainment venues. All week long, basketball fans can enjoy free live entertainment during the district’s Miller Lite Basketball Fan Fest. Cheer on your favorite teams at pep rallies inside KC Live!—the heated, open-air venue inside the district. Go to powerandlightdistrict.com for a complete list of live entertainment.
5. Take your spirit to the streets
Kansas City’s Inaugural Big 12 5K Fun Run & Family Stroll will take place on Saturday, March 16. Set in the heart of Big 12 Country, the 5K course will wind around downtown Kansas City through the Power & Light District. The overall male and female winners will receive $1,000 in free gas from Phillips 66 and be recognized at Championship final. More info at kcbig12run.com.
6. Test your skills at a hoops hall of fame
Rev up your basketball weekend at The College Basketball Experience. Named one of the nation’s top five interactive museums by Wired magazine, this hands-on facility recreates the intensity of a college basketball game—from foul-line hecklers to last-second buzzer beaters. Show your Big 12 ticket to save $2 on admission. For a schedule of extended March hours, go to collegebasketballexperience.com.
Six More Things to Check Out
No one does basketball like Kansas City, the College Basketball Capital of America. In fact, during the month of March, KC hosts more college basketball games than anywhere else in the country—a whopping 66 teams and 58 games in just 12 days. But there’s a whole lot more to this vibrant city than just hoops.
7. Stay for St. Patrick’s Day
Extend your trip and experience one of the largest Irish celebrations in the country. The 41st Annual Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday, March 17, is a family-friendly event with more than 100 floats that wind through Midtown. Adults will love the festival atmosphere in the historic Westport neighborhood or at the St. Patrick’s Day Bash in the Power & Light District. Celebrity DJ Pauly D will perform at the all-day music festival, which features games, giveaways, contests and more. Free event. Must be 21 or older.
8. Take a time out with major league museums
The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial is the first and only museum dedicated to the Great War, featuring the second-largest collection of WWI artifacts in the world. See the world premiere exhibit, The Science of Rock ‘n’ Roll, or the new Extreme Screen Theatre at KC’s historic Union Station. Or tour a frequent stop for visiting dignitaries, presidents and celebrities, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, which chronicles the history and heroes of the nation’s first baseball league for African Americans.
9. Get to know the free side of Kansas City
In addition to three world-class art museums, there’s plenty to do in KC that won’t cost you a dime. Go behind the scenes at Boulevard Brewing Co., the region’s largest specialty brewer; see how “hogs” are made at Harley-Davidson Vehicle & Powertrain Operations; or learn about 100 years of creativity at the Hallmark Visitors Center.
10. Sample some Kansas City ’cue
When it’s time for some game day grub, there is no better way to refuel than with a plate of KC’s signature cuisine. No matter how you spell it, barbecue is a way of life in Kansas City. In fact, KC has more barbecue restaurants per capita than any other city in the world, ranging from quaint and cozy to loud and lively. Try the burnt ends—they're a Kansas City original.
11. Tune in to KC’s world-famous jazz music
Kansas City has a rich jazz history. After all, this is Charlie Parker's hometown. Enjoy the city’s signature sound at one of the many live jazz clubs located throughout the city. Learn more about KC’s long jazz legacy at the American Jazz Museum, located inside the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District.
12. Shop the famed Country Club Plaza
Kansas City’s legendary Country Club Plaza is home to more than 14 blocks of 180 shops and restaurants in a romantic setting. The Plaza’s Spanish-inspired architecture features more than $1 million in artwork—including fountains, murals and more than 30 statues.