Why Not Vegas? Yormark Explains Decision To Keep Big 12 Tournament In Kansas City

Mar 13, 2024, 12:05 AM | Updated: 12:11 am

Big 12 Tournament, Kansas City, Brett Yormark...

The Big 12 Tournament will not be moving west. Commissioner Brett Yormark explained why it's staying in KC. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Big 12 Tournament will remain in Kansas City through its next media rights deal.

That will run through 2031.

Commissioner Brett Yormark announced the official extension on Tuesday night with Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, Kathy Nelson of the Kansas City Sports Commission, and Raven Jemison of the Kansas City Current (NWSL).

Brett Yormark keeps the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City

The extension wasn’t surprising, as Yormark hinted last summer about “doubling down” on current championship venues within the Big 12.

Yormark doubled down on AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for the football championship.

Now, they’ve doubled down on Big 12 hoops in Kansas City. The city has hosted the Big 12 Tournament off and on since the Big 8 era, dating back to the tournament’s creation in 1977.

This decision comes only a year after Yormark admitted that he had never been to Kansas City when he took the Commissioner chair.

Last month, the Big 12 announced that Football Media Days for the 2024 season would take place in Las Vegas.

Fans on social media wondered if the basketball tournament could soon follow to Sin City, with the “Four Corners” schools of Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah officially joining the league this August.

The Pac-12 will no longer operate in its current form, with only two members remaining. There’s an opening at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for conference tournament action in years to come.

What about moving the tournament out west?

Yormark was asked about the options of arenas out west for the conference tournament and his conversations with the Four Corners schools interested in moving the tournament around.

“We are a national conference now. We’re in 10 states, four time zones, and 90 million people in our footprint. We’ve got a lot of optionality out there where we can take our championships,” Yormark said. “But when it came to Men’s and Women’s basketball and Women’s soccer, [Kansas City] needed to be our home.”

Along with the Big 12 Basketball Tournament, Yormark announced that the Women’s Soccer Tournament was moving to Kansas City for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

Next season, membership in the Big 12 Conference will be up to 16 teams. That’s a jump from this year’s 14 members. Texas and Oklahoma are both departing for the SEC.

Yormark said that all 16 programs will compete in the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in Kansas City next year.

Regarding other events moving out west, Yormark did hint at that possibility.

Yormark added, “We are going to football media day in Vegas, which we’re excited about. We announced that last month, and there will be other opportunities for us to move closer to that footprint. But we needed to be here in Kansas City. And I’m happy we were able to make it work.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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Why Not Vegas? Yormark Explains Decision To Keep Big 12 Tournament In Kansas City