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Kansas City mayor latest to implore Mizzou to stay in Big 12

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Kansas City really wants Missouri to stay in the Big 12.

Earlier this month, the Kansas City Sports Commission and Visitor’s Bureau created an ad in the Kansas City Star asking Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton to consider the history of the Tigers and the Big 12 when making a considering options related to conference affiliation.

“[Missouri], as you know, has Midwestern roots more than a century old,” the ad read. “We cannot imagine the University of Missouri’s athletics tilting away from this region and the athletic history to which they have contributed so mightily.”

Although no official timetable has been given as to when Missouri will make a decision in regards to their conference home, rumors have swirled once again that a decision one way or the other could come some time late next week.

That’s just enough time for another member of the greater Kansas City governmental office, mayor Sylvester James, to further push the point that Missouri’s home belongs in the Big 12. In an open letter to Deaton, James asks that the school consider the economic impact of staying in the Big 12, namely the Border War game with Kansas in Arrowhead Stadium and the Big 12 basketball tournament. It’s believed that if Mizzou does move on to the SEC, that the annual rivalry with KU will become dormant.

Dear Chancellor Deaton:

Considering recent events and conversations about NCAA conference realignment, I would like to highlight the importance of the University of Missouri to the Kansas City region. I am certain you are weighing many factors as you make this decision, but I urge you to put the Kansas City region at the forefront.

Our community has enjoyed a rich sports history over the years — and the University of Missouri athletics program has played a big part in that. Missouri athletics are important to our city, state, and region. Fan support of your institution’s participation in the Big 12 Basketball Championships and the annual Border Showdown at Arrowhead Stadium are proof of that.

The University of Missouri fan base is abundant in the Kansas City area. More than 20,000 MU alumni call this area home, and the local chapter of the Mizzou Alumni Association has the third-largest membership in the nation.

Keeping Big 12 competition in or near Kansas City makes sense — for you, your fans and the state of Missouri. The Big 12 Basketball Championships at Sprint Center and Municipal Auditorium are prime examples. The Championship is an important economic engine for our region, generating more than $14 million a year, and scheduled to remain in this state through 2014. It is imperative for that money should remain in the Show-Me State.

We strongly encourage you to weigh this decision with care. Kansas City gains a lot from its affiliation with the University of Missouri. Conversely, we also stand to lose a lot should that change. We believe this region collectively values University of Missouri athletics — has, does and will — to a degree that won’t be replicated elsewhere. And that staying here, in the Big 12 Conference, within your home region and among your fans and rivals is the right decision to honor your history, fulfill your present, and secure your future.

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6 Responses to “Kansas City mayor latest to implore Mizzou to stay in Big 12”
  1. thegonz13 says: Oct 14, 2011 8:50 AM

    Why does the mayor of Kansas City even care? The Tigers play in Columbia!

  2. gacanefan says: Oct 14, 2011 9:07 AM

    The reason the mayor cares is the revenue the Big 12 championship in football and basketball brings in. If the Missouri joins the SEC, KC will not get the football championship game away from Atlanta. They would get in the rotation for the SEC basketball championship, but the only fans that will travel will be UK.

  3. teke184 says: Oct 14, 2011 9:16 AM

    The KC mayor cares because of what it means for the Big 12 basketball tournament.

    The geographic center of the conference has been shifting south for years, between the Texas schools joining in the mid-90s and the departures of Nebraska and Colorado last year.

    If Mizzou leaves, then KC likely loses that tournament to Oklahoma City or Dallas.

  4. thefiesty1 says: Oct 14, 2011 9:59 AM

    If they stay and the Big XII foolishly stays at 10 teams the KC market won’t get a championship game anymore in football and who really cares about basketball. The mayor has already lost as it is now.

  5. deadeye says: Oct 14, 2011 11:47 AM

    The BIG12 is becoming more Texas-centric by the minute. KC folks assume that what they currently receive from the BIG12 will always be there, but that’s not guaranteed. Didn’t Arrowhead Stadium host the BIG12 championship game at one point? I think everyone realizes that game will end up permanently relocated to Jerry-World (if it hasn’t already).

    It’s short sighted for the entire state of Missouri to be held hostage to a conference whose primary benefit is a basketball tournament that will one day (probably soon) head south. Football is the money-maker, and basketball is just gravy. No one really knows what the final decision will be, but to me the fact that the KC mayor is pleading to stay put is a positive sign that things are leaning toward the SEC.

  6. kcrobert10 says: Oct 14, 2011 1:10 PM

    Said this last week the leadership here in kc needs to find a permanent tenant for the Sprint center. Nhl, NBA it doesn’t matter the fact we have to beg mu or the big 12 to stay or keep the basketball tournament here is really bad in my opinion.

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