KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Interim President of the Kansas City Sports Commission, Cindy Smith, was disappointed when she heard about the University of Missouri’s decision to leave the Big 12 for the SEC
“Hopefully they made the best decision for the student athletes and the fan base,” said Smith.
Smith remains optimistic that Kansas City will continue to host the Big 12 basketball tournament even with the Tigers gone. The city holds the contract for two more years.
"KU and Kansas State and Iowa State obviously have programs that are a part of the Big 12 and certainly as it comes time to do a new bid process with the big 12 I think those institutions will push hard that Kansas City remains in the rotation,” said Smith.
Smith said the Tigers appear to get a financial gain from the conference move, but local business owners remain skeptical sales.
“As a business owner it's a negative you lose the Big 12 tournament potentially, so you're not going to be excited about that,” said Smith.
The Kansas City Sports Commission said visiting tournament fans spend about $15 million while here for the week. John said how the Tigers perform will decide how will help decide his bottom-line.
“If they are really good people want to go out and watch them but if they aren't any good people don’t go out and watch as much,” said Dustin John, owner of Willie's pub in Kansas City.
The Big 12 hasn’t said if Missouri’s decision to leave the Big 12 will impact Kansas City’s prospect for basketball tournaments.
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