Sports commission hopes to bring championships to KC

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City and surrounding areas will be home to several major college championship sports-related events starting next year, if the Kansas City Sports Commission gets its way.

The commission president Kathy Nelson  said they want to host to a wide range of NCAA sporting championship events starting next year into 2018. Nelson said they submitted more than 30 different bids for 13 different sports. She called it a major undertaking for the new way the NCAA is doing this process.

"For any city across the country, that's the most amount of sports and championships anyone would ever bid on at one time," Nelson said.

She said the bids are for Division I and II colleges. Nelson said they were able to bid on sports they've never had before.

"For the first time with the new Swope Soccer Village, we're able to bid on things like Division II soccer and Division I field hockey," she said.

Nelson said the competition for all the proposals are stiff.

"Some sports we may only be bidding between three or four or five cities, and others we could be 20 or 30 cities looking at that," she said.

But even completely finished complexes, like the Plaza Tennis Center that will be hosting matches in tandem with the Homestead Country Club, feel KC is already a winner.

"I know there's other cities, and especially cities in the sunbelt, that would like to host this event. But we know that we can put on a great show in Kansas City," Scott Hanover said.

"We feel pretty confident the bid we put together was pretty impressive. I feel confident in that," Nelson said.

Other venues include Sporting Park, Sprint Center and Rim Rock Farm and the KU track stadium in Lawrence.

Nelson said Division I basketball wasn't in this latest bidding process, but they do plan on bidding for men's regionals and a women's final four. She said they'll know by mid-December what sport and years, the city has been awarded.

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