NAIA reaches deal to keep men’s basketball tournament in KC for 4 more years

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The NAIA Tournament is staying in Kansas City for another four years, organizers say.

The extension will keep the men’s basketball tournament in Kansas City through 2024.

About 250 colleges with enrollments of 2,000 students or fewer make up the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and that includes local schools like Park University and Mid-America Nazarene University.

Every year those small colleges crown their basketball champion in Kansas City. Organizers say around 40,000 people attend the event every year.

Mike Higgins, NAIA director of championships, said Kansas City has hosted the tournament for decades — and the deal is working.

“I liken it to an 82-year-old marriage,” he said. “Is the twinkle still in your eye or is KC still excited about the championship here? We’ve seen that they are. The city and its support came up, and it was very solid, and we are very excited about that.”

Higgins said the many partnerships they have with the city helped with the decision-making process.

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