Three major tournaments converge next month in downtown Kansas City

Kansas City, Mo.—Kansas City’s love affair with college basketball couldn’t be more obvious than during the month of March, as the city prepares to host postseason play for three organizations:  the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA), the Big 12 Conference and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Tickets remain for the NAIA and MIAA events. Kansas City rolls out the red carpet every March, hosting more college basketball games than anywhere else in the country. In 2014, the total comes to 58 teams and 54 games in just 15 days. The Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association (KCCVA) estimates the combined economic impact of the championships to be more than $13.3 million. Highlights of each event follow. 

MIAA Men's and Women's Basketball Championships
March 6-9, Municipal Auditorium

  • This is the Championships’ 12th consecutive year in Kansas City, with an estimated attendance of 20,000 fans over the four-day stretch and a total economic impact of $1.8 million.
  • A century old, the Kansas City-based MIAA is a NCAA Division II Conference made up of 14 institutions in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. More than 80,000 area alumni attended these schools, six of which are within a two-hour drive to KC.
  • Sixteen teams (eight men’s and eight women’s) will vie for the conference’s two titles in a single-elimination, 14-game tournament format.
  • Tickets are still available. All-session tickets are $65; single-session tickets are $20; available at Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 800-745-3000. Student/youth tickets ($5) will be available only at Municipal Auditorium box office during the event.
  • For more information, visit TheMIAA.com.  

Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship
March 12-15, Sprint Center

  • Kansas City hosts the Men’s Championship in 2014 for an unprecedented 13th year. This also marks the sixth time Sprint Center will serve as the venue. Tickets are sold out. 
  • Slated to return to Kansas City through 2016, the estimated economic impact of the Men’s Championship is $9 million.
  • The league’s 10 teams will compete in a single-elimination, nine-game format. The Big 12 has had seven teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 this season, the most of any conference. 
  • Games will be televised on the Big 12 Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3. Click here for the complete schedule.
  • Special events include the Big 12 GameDay fan experience on Grand Boulevard, spirit rallies inside the Power & Light District and Kansas City’s Big 12 5K Fun Run & Family Stroll. For more information, visit the Official Kansas City Fan Information Site at VisitKC.com/Big12Basketball.

77th Annual Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship
March 19-25, Municipal Auditorium

  • As college basketball’s oldest national championship, the NAIA tournament returns to Municipal Auditorium for the 50th time in 2014 (1937-1943; 1945-1975; and 2002-present).
  • Attracting nearly 40,000 fans over its six-day stretch, the anticipated economic impact of the NAIA tourney is $2.5 million.
  • The NAIA is comprised of nearly 300 accredited small colleges and universities in North America.
  • The competition will host 32 teams in a 31-game, single-elimination format. The field of participants includes 17 automatic qualifiers, one host berth and 14 at-large bids. 
  • Tickets are still available. Single-game tickets start as low as $3 per person and all-tournament passes begin at $75. Purchase tickets at NAIAHoops.com or at the Municipal Auditorium box office.
  • Special events include Scout Night (March 21), Youth Day (March 22) and Military Service/First Responder Night (March 24). New in 2014 are the NABC-NAIA Men’s Basketball All-Star Game, presented by US Bank, and the NABC-NAIA Men’s Basketball 3-Point and Slam Dunk Contests, presented by Rawlings. These events will take place on Saturday, March 22.
  • For more information, visit NAIAHoops.com.

Fan Fests and Other Basketball Events
Basketball fans will have plenty to do Downtown between games. Here’s a look at major events happening during the time frame. 

March 1 The Uptown Theater will host the 6th Annual Kansas City Basketball Tip-Off, featuring the Country Music Awards’ Vocal Duo of the Year, Thompson Square. Tickets start at $35 with proceeds benefitting Kansas City’s Medicine Cabinet. For more information, go to btllf.org/pride.html.

March 12-15 The Big 12 GameDay fan experience presented by Phillips 66 will be located just outside Sprint Center on Grand Boulevard. The free, interactive street festival features games, music, meet-and-greet opportunities and promotional giveaways. The schedule is as follows:

  • Wednesday, March 12: 3 to 7 p.m. 
  • Thursday, March 13: 2 to 7 p.m. 
  • Friday, March 14: 2 to 7 p.m. 
  • Saturday, March 15: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

March 12-15 The Miller Lite Basketball Fan Fest presented by Sports Radio 810 will feature the following free concerts in the KC Live! Block of the Power & Light District: 

  • Wednesday, March 12, at 10:30 p.m.:  DJ entertainment
  • Thursday, March 13, at 10:30 p.m.: DJ entertainment 
  • Friday, March 14, at 10:30 p.m.: DJ entertainment 
  • Saturday, March 15, at 10 p.m.: Live band
  • For the above shows, all fans must be 21 or older (after 9 p.m.). All weekend long, fans can cheer on their teams at pep rallies in KC Live! and watch basketball games on the big outdoor screen (all ages welcome). 

March 15 - Kansas City’s Big 12 5K Fun Run & Family Stroll will take place on Saturday, March 15, at 10 a.m.  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.  Strollers are welcome for this family-friendly event. More info at kcbig12run.com

All month long The College Basketball Experience (CBE) and National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame will host extended operational hours during the month of March. Show your Big 12 ticket during the CBE’s published hours at the CBE Box Office inside the Sprint Center lobby and save $2 on regular admission, March 12-15. For a complete schedule of extended hours, go to collegebasketballexperience.com. (This offer cannot be used with other available CBE discount offers for admission).  

About the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association
The KCCVA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ignite global passion for visiting Kansas City. Through marketing, sales and service of the convention and tourism industries, the KCCVA supports a vital and growing component of the local economy—generating more than 45,000 jobs and $4.6 billion in economic impact annually. For more information about Kansas City, go to VisitKC.com.

Media Contacts

Derek Byrne
Derek Byrne (KC/Regional Media)
Visit KC
Derek Klaus
Derek Klaus (National Media)

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