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Big 12 fans new and old talk conference changes

BYU fan Scott Clark talks about his time at the Big 12 Tournament
Posted at 7:08 PM, Mar 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-15 20:08:23-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It's been over a week of collegiate chaos at the Big 12 Tournament.

For some, like K-State, KU and Iowa State, it's a tradition that's as old as time.

For others, like BYU and Houston, it's a whole new ball game.

"The environment is great," said Natalie Barletta, a Cougars fan from Houston. "We’re super excited with the number of Houston fans that traveled to the tournament, so we see a lot of Coug signs everywhere we go."

Natalie Barletta and her daughter, Houston fans

The Barletta family made the tournament part of their spring break.

"It’s been a long journey getting to the bigger conference, and so we’ve been really excited to be here," Natalie Barletta said.

Scott Clark is a BYU alum. He come to see what the Big 12 is all about.

Scott Clark, BYU fan

"The tradition here is unbeatable for the Big 12 Conference," he said.

Houston and BYU are only two of the new teams. It also includes Cincinnati and UCF.

But for the next season, fans should prepare a busted bracket.

Oklahoma and Texas are moving to the SEC, while the Big 12 is bringing in Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado.

"I think it’s going to make the Big 12 stronger, especially for basketball," said Tod Trogu, an Iowa State fan. "Bringing in Arizona, great school. BYU this year was great; they showed that they belonged with it, too."

Tod Trogu, Iowa State fan

More teams means more fans, and more foot traffic for bars and stores.

"We’re having the fans come in nonstop from all over the country," said Ryan Fortney, the sales manager for Charlie Hustle.

Ryan Fortney, Charlie Hustle Sales Manager

The local brand has a Big 12 pop-up shop in the Power & Light District this year.

Fortney said their sales have been out of this world. So much so, they're already thinking ahead to next year when new teams are in the mix.

"We’ve already secured a lot of those licenses, and we’re super excited for them to come here next year and experience Charlie hustle," Fortney said.

Kansas City is set to host the tournament for another few years, and we're ready for more to join the party.

"We welcome the challenge, too, so it’ll be fun," Trogu said.