The Missouri Valley Conference has sent out requests for proposals to four cities, including Kansas City, to hold its men’s basketball tournament beginning in 2016.
The other cities invited to bid for the tournament: St. Louis, the event’s long time home, Chicago and Las Vegas. The conference, looking for sites through 2020, could make an announcement by June 30.
Kansas City is contracted to hold the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament at the Sprint Center through 2016. Also in Kansas City, at Municipal Auditorium, is the NAIA Division I men’s championship, which opened its week-long run on Wednesday, and the MIAA men’s and women’s tournaments.
The Valley, which is looking at the Sprint Center as a potential new venue, has traditionally held its tournament a week before the Big 12’s.
Representatives from the Kansas City Sports Commission visited this month’s Valley tourney, won by Wichita State.
Kansas City was part of a proposal process in 2007 along with other cities, when the Valley decided to keep the tournament in St. Louis. That year, the Sprint Center and College Basketball Experience opened and the Power & Light District was filling in with restaurants and shops.
The area was booming last year during the NCAA Tournament early-round games at the Sprint Center, an event that was hosted by the Missouri Valley Conference.
Scottrade Center, site of this year’s NCAA Tournament early rounds, is a concern. One of the semifinal games at this year’s Valley tourney was delayed by 22 minutes when shot clocks malfunctioned, and one game was played using shot clocks on the ribbon boards, not over the baskets.