KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Women’s basketball is invading Kansas City.
The Sweet 16 begins Friday, and four of the best teams in the nation will be playing at Sprint Center.
The top four women’s teams in this bracket are all in Kansas City – with Mississippi State leading the way. The Lady Bulldogs ended UConn’s 111-game winning streak last year, and they’re a number one seed this year.
Kansas City is rolling out the red carpet for the four teams here for the Midwest Regional – besides Mississippi State - Texas, NC State and UCLA are also in town.
The last time Kansas City hosted a women’s Regional was 2010 – so local officials see this as an opportunity to introduce the city to many basketball fans who’ve never been to town.
Organizers say the teams have really been impressed with Sprint Center and the walkability to their hotel and restaurants downtown.
While Kansas City is known as a basketball city, Sprint Center is not expecting the games to sell out – the hope is to fill up the lower bowl and make it a loud, exciting event.
So with plenty of seats available, they hope parents bring their young children to see two exciting games featuring great fundamentals and some very talented athletes.
The regional games Friday feature Mississippi State against NC State and Texas against UCLA. You can see both games for just $23 – $13 for students - just go right to the box office to buy them.
"We bring in different fans when we host these kinds of events," KC Sports Commission CEO Kathy Nelson said. "It’s not the same fan buying that ticket. If you’re a true basketball fan and live and breathe basketball, then you want to be downtown during the month of March. But with the regionals, we’re welcoming four different teams and you figure many of them have never been to Kansas City before."
Kansas City is in the running to host a Women’s Final Four, so they hope to draw a big crowd Friday and for the Regional Final Sunday to show why the NCAA should bring that big event to town.