By Ryan McCarthy
After 11 years at Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, Mo., might have said farewell to the Big 12 Women’s basketball Tournament on Saturday.
With no remaining Missouri schools remaining in the BIg 12 conference and much lower attendance than the two other proposed host cities, Dallas and Oklahoma City, this could be the last time Kansas City gets the both the men’s and women’s tournaments at the same time.
I don’t expect. I think honestly we’re saying goodbye to it this year,” ESPN.com’s Mechelle Voepel said.
Some fans are OK with moving the a position that will be better for the entire conference.
“I think both of those places are a little more centrally located than Kansas City especially for the team’s in Texas, not so much Oklahoma, but definitely for the one’s in Texas,” Waco, Tex., resident Gordon Neal said.
However, for some local fans it might put them in a difficult situation.
“I hope they do reconsider coming back to Kansas City in the near future,” Kansas fan Barbra Bohan said.
For now it appears that Dallas and Oklahoma City will hold the tournament for the near future.
“That’s the place that really wants it, and that’s probably the best place for it,” Voepel said. “In terms of central location and where it can make it’s own identity
RYAN MCCARTHY, BYLINE: Although Kansas City, Missouri and Municipal Auditorium has hosted the Big 12 Women’s Tournament 11 of the 16 times since the Conference’s existence, this might be the last time the city sees the tournament. After 2012, Dallas will host the tournament before Oklahoma City does in 2014. But some local fans, like Kansas fan Barbra Bohan, would like to see the tournament stay where it’s been.
BARBRA BOHAN: “This is the first time I’ve heard about the conference moving out of Kansas City. I know that they’ve had it in Oklahoma City a couple of times, and if you look at the statistics they actually had a better attendance when they were in Oklahoma City. Being a diehard KU fan, however, I really don’t care about the attendance because I will probably not be able to go to Oklahoma City or Dallas to see them. So I hope they do reconsider coming back to Kansas City in the near future.”
MCCARTHY: However, some fans from the other Big 12 schools embrace the change in location. Waco native Gordon Neal, an avid Baylor fan, likes the idea of having the tournament closer to home.
GORDON NEAL: “Dallas will be an hour and half drive, Oklahoma City is half the distance from here so for us it will be great. I think both of those places are a little more centrally located than Kansas City especially for the team’s in Texas, not so much Oklahoma, but definitely for the one’s in Texas.”
MCCARTHY: One of the biggest problems for Kansas City has been attendance. Although Municipal probably fits as an appropriate venue, the Big 12 has not been able to draw large enough crowds from the Women’s side of the Big 12. ESPN.com’s Mechelle Voepel summed up the current state of the tournament best.
MECHELLE VOEPEL: “I think there’s a mentality that they do want to, but you’re right, there’s not a team left here now that’s Missouri is leaving. The fans support hasn’t been fantastic and I think Oklahoma City and to a lesser extent Dallas, both really do want this event. I really, I’m not necessarily trying to be a pitch person for Oklahoma City, but that’s the place that really wants it, and that’s probably the best place for it. In terms of central location and where it can make it’s own identity. If it’s going to come back here maybe since they’re splitting it (The Big 12 Tournament), maybe they would split it time wise and it might come back here. I don’t expect. I think honestly we’re saying goodbye to it this year.”
MCCARTHY: This is Ryan McCarthy reporting for ryannmccarthywordpress.com