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  1. #1
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    Omaha bids for Big 12 champ

    I think it is a snowballs chance in hell but they are hosting the 1st and 2nd round of the mens tourney in 2008. (I think) It is a great facility.

    Omaha.com Sports Section

    Published Wednesday | May 2, 2007
    Omaha makes its Big 12 bid
    BY LEE BARFKNECHT
    WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER


    College basketball fans in Nebraska and western Iowa, keep your fingers crossed.



    Qwest Center Omaha, with its increased seating capacity at 17,500, may be a possible site for the Big 12 men's basketball tournament.

    There's at least a chance now that the Big 12 men's and women's basketball tournaments someday could be played in Omaha.

    Dan Morrissey, president of the Omaha Sports Commission, confirmed Tuesday that the commission and Qwest Center Omaha have submitted an official bid to host the two concurrent March events, using the Qwest Center for the men and Civic Auditorium for the women.

    No details were given about the size of the bid or the potential years to host.

    "That's all the information I can give you right now," Morrissey said. "We don't want to tip our hand.

    "It's a great tournament. It would be great for the city of Omaha. I think people would really embrace it, and it certainly would be a feather in our cap."

    The Big 12, at its spring administrative meetings May 21 through 25, is expected to announce future sites for its football championship game and the basketball tournaments.

    Now that the Big 12 has extended its ABC/ESPN television contract, sites could be announced for the next four to five years. The only sites currently set are for the coming season - football in San Antonio on Dec. 1, 2007, and basketball in Kansas City, Mo., in early March 2008.

    What other cities are seeking the Big 12 basketball tournament?

    Kansas City is definitely in the mix, Kevin Gray of the KC Sports Commission said Tuesday.

    "We've been very aggressive in our bidding for both the football championship and the basketball tournaments," he said.

    Kansas City has been the basketball host seven times before (1997 through 2002, and 2005). Dallas was the host in 2003, 2004 and 2006. Oklahoma City hosted for the first time in March.

    Gray said he expected "the usual list" - San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Oklahoma City - to be involved in the basketball bidding besides Kansas City and Omaha. The Big 12 doesn't disclose which cities are bidding.

    The Big 12 football title game has been played in St. Louis, San Antonio, Kansas City, Dallas and Houston.

    "Between basketball and football, we'll probably see six to eight cities involved," Gray said. "Out of that list, I'm not sure how viable everybody is."

    Omaha has become viable for basketball with the recent addition of seats to Qwest Center Omaha. The new listed capacity of 17,500 meets the Big 12 minimum.

    Kansas City's new Sprint Center will seat 18,500. The Ford Center in Oklahoma City seats 18,879.

    Officials in Kansas City estimate a $15 million economic impact from the 2008 basketball tournaments, which run on a Tuesday through a Sunday in early March. History indicates the events draw about 8,000 to 10,000 out-of-town fans to a host city.

    Big 12 Commissioner Kevin Weiberg, in previous interviews, said the league at one time discussed "anchoring" the championship events in one city for a three- to four-year period.

    Recently, the discussion has been more about continuing to rotate events.

    Despite that, speculation has surfaced that when the Dallas Cowboys' new $1 billion football stadium is completed in 2009 that the Big 12 football title game might go there and stay long term.

    If that happened, Kansas City has been seen as a likely anchor site for the basketball tournaments.

    Said Gray: "We would love that to be the case, if that happens."

    To monitor proceedings, the KC Sports Commission will send a delegation to the Big 12 spring meetings later this month. The Omaha Sports Commission won't.

    "There is a time and place to go to those kinds of meetings," Morrissey said. "We just didn't feel as if our presence was necessary there."





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    Re: Omaha bids for Big 12 champ

    I don't see any of the Texas teams coming to Omaha in March to play basketball. They would cry about giving Nebraska and their 12 basketball fans an unfair advantage.



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    Re: Omaha bids for Big 12 champ

    Quote Originally Posted by rte4st8 View Post
    I don't see any of the Texas teams coming to Omaha in March to play basketball. They would cry about giving Nebraska and their 12 basketball fans an unfair advantage.
    It wouldn't be any different when the tournament is in Oklahoma City with Norman and Stillwater close by.

    I would love to see the tournament in Omaha, but I think there is a slim to none chance of it happening....and slim just left town.



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    Re: Omaha bids for Big 12 champ

    I doubt they get it but I hope they do. The Texas schools will cry rape if they have to go that far north.

    I wouldn't mind seeing the Wrestling Championships in Omaha though or at least back in Cedar Falls.



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    Re: Omaha bids for Big 12 champ

    Rick Barnes wouldn't even take a leak in Nebraska.


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    Re: Omaha bids for Big 12 champ

    I don't know why this would be any different than baseball. Texas usually sends a pretty nice following up to Rosenblatt when the horns make it to the CWS.



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    Re: Omaha bids for Big 12 champ

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUboi12 View Post
    I don't know why this would be any different than baseball. Texas usually sends a pretty nice following up to Rosenblatt when the horns make it to the CWS.

    Probably because its nationals and not regionals. I personally think its great Omaha is the place to be for things like that!


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    Re: Omaha bids for Big 12 champ

    does anyone think, and I'm just posing the hypothetical here, that if Des Moines had built Wells Fargo with another 1k seats (meeting the Big 12s minimum standard), that DSM would have been able to bid on this also? I don't know if Vets would be worthy of the women's tourney or not....

    last season, the Pepsi Center in Denver hosted the MWC tourney, and you could hear a pindrop in the early round games, even when locals Air Force and CSU was playing. I wonder why Denver hasn't put there hat in the mix for the Big12 tourney? cripes, there are hundreds, (even thousands for some) of alums from all the big 12 schools here, and you have the slopes an hour away also. This probably has to do with CU sucking in basketball for eons and having little fan interest here. It would be a great place to have it however.


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    Re: Omaha bids for Big 12 champ

    I don't know about Omaha. It would be great for NU and ISU, but a lot of the other teams would have to do a lot of traveling. Oklahoma City is a nice central location, but it is still a long trip for ISU.



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    Re: Omaha bids for Big 12 champ

    As far as North teams go, it would be a lot fairer. KC is so close to places like KSU and KU, it'd be fair to make them drive about the same length of time that we would supposedly have to travel to Omaha.

    I think that if they're allowed to have the Big 12 tourney in Oklahoma City, travelers from Texas should have to go through a bit of what we have to go through to get down there.


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    Re: Omaha bids for Big 12 champ

    Quote Originally Posted by frontrangeclone View Post
    does anyone think, and I'm just posing the hypothetical here, that if Des Moines had built Wells Fargo with another 1k seats (meeting the Big 12s minimum standard), that DSM would have been able to bid on this also? I don't know if Vets would be worthy of the women's tourney or not....

    last season, the Pepsi Center in Denver hosted the MWC tourney, and you could hear a pindrop in the early round games, even when locals Air Force and CSU was playing. I wonder why Denver hasn't put there hat in the mix for the Big12 tourney? cripes, there are hundreds, (even thousands for some) of alums from all the big 12 schools here, and you have the slopes an hour away also. This probably has to do with CU sucking in basketball for eons and having little fan interest here. It would be a great place to have it however.
    DSM cannot ever host any major events because there are not enough hotels nearby.


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  12. #12
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    Re: Omaha bids for Big 12 champ

    MVC is now in St Louis and out of state, so why not Big 12 in Omaha. Mar in Omaha is not that bad.


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    Re: Omaha bids for Big 12 champ

    Omaha is a pretty good location, IMO. ISU, NU, KU, and KSU are all within about a stone's throw from that location. Missouri and Colorado wouldn't see big travel distance changes. It would only affect the South teams, and even then it's only about three hours north of K.C.

    Omaha/Council Bluffs is a fairly large "metro" area. Lots of people and lots to do (Casino's in Council Bluffs). Why not?



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    Re: Omaha bids for Big 12 champ

    I think Omaha would be a great venue no matter what. You wouldn't think so based on Nebraskas performance but Omaha residents are freak about basketball. They used to share a professional team with KC.
    Plus Omaha supports big events that occur in their city VERY WELL. On top of that the Qwest Center is much nicer than Wells Fargo Arena. Plus it is within walking distance of the Old Market and once they finish that walking bridge you could walk across the river to a casino. Plus, I don't know specifics, but the Omaha metro area is at or around a million poeple. I am sure central Iowa would send its share to the tournament.

    I think Omaha stands a better chance than all of you are giving it. They wouldn't send in a proposal if they didn't think they had a chance.



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    Re: Omaha bids for Big 12 champ

    No question it would be a nice venue (arena) to host it, but Omaha the city? It's freezing in early March, still in the 40s for daytime highs. Plus, you take away from Mizzou, KU, K-State, and all the south school fans. The only team it benefits is Iowa State. I've never known the Big 12 to do us any favors. I can't see Omaha getting the time of day when you have a proven city like KC and even OK City now. If Colorado had a fanbase, Denver would be possible but that could be a disaster.



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