Sitting closed during Big 12, future of College Basketball Experience in Kansas City uncertain

Business

KANSAS CITY, Mo — This week, both the men’s and women’s Big 12 Basketball Championships return to Kansas City. But meanwhile, there are new concerns about the future of the basketball museum next to T-Mobile Center and the group that runs it.

“It’s disappointing to not be able to show our fans what that looks like and feels like,” said Kathy Nelson, president and CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission.

Fans coming to Kansas City for the Big 12 Championships will miss much of the fanfare, including the College Basketball Experience after a car crashed into the building.

That and COVID-19 are sidelining the experience.

“We know what not only the museum does but that attraction for fans, and when we bring people to town, they love to go in there,” Nelson said. “Also having a company located here, their headquarters are here, that’s important.”

At the end of 2020, the Kansas City Council voted to forgive about $400,000 of a nearly $1.2 million loan to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation for cost overrun during construction of the T-Mobile Center. The city also promised to invest $250,000 in improvements over five years.

“It’s such a value added down at the T-Mobile Center, and we want them to stay here in the city,” said Councilwoman Melissa Robinson, who is on the Finance Committee that drafted the deal. “So that was a huge part of why we made the decision to make those concessions.”

Robinson thought talk of the organization moving from KC was over, but she was surprised about what the NABC told FOX4. When asked if the organization was staying in town, it sent this statement:

“The NABC is currently undergoing a review of its office operations and location. As this process remains ongoing, we do not have any additional comments at this time.”

“I did not take away from the conversation that there was an evaluation being made,” Robinson said. “I believe that this decision was crucial in them deciding to stay here, so it is a bit of concerning that they’re still going through dialogue and discussion around this.”

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