NAIA National Championship Tournament starts Wednesday, tickets start at $12

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The 77th annual NAIA National Championship Tournament starts Wednesday at the Downtown Municipal Auditorium.

For six days straight, 31 teams from all across the country will be in town competing for the top honors.

Tournament organizers say tickets for a four-game session start at only $12, and they're hoping this year they can break the attendance record of 6,100.

"We get bus loads from local schools especially," NAIA Director of Communications Chad Waller said. "I know Benedictine College is going to bring some bus loads of fans. In fact they're trying to break the attendance record for a single session."

This year is also special because it is the 50th year the Municipal Auditorium has hosted the tournament.

"We're really proud of having this as our home," Waller said. "It's the Mecca of college basketball. We're right in the heart of the Midwest, Kansas City. We like to claim our city as the home of college basketball, so 50 years playing in this auditorium makes it really special."

The tournament tips-off at 9 a.m. Attendees under 21 who present a student ID can get tickets for $5. Kids 5 and under can attend for free.

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