Big 12’s immediate future in Kansas City safe as Yormark looks to nationalize conference

Photo credit: Ryan Weaver for The Big 12 Conference.

KANSAS CITY — The Big 12 basketball tournaments are not going anywhere — at least for now.

That is due in large part to the fact the league is locked into a deal with the city to host the tournaments through 2027. That deal includes the women’s tournament shifting to the T-Mobile Center starting in 2024 and running the week prior to the men’s tournament.

While the league is locked in with Kansas City for the next five years, don’t rule out the possibility the league could look to play the tournament elsewhere in the future, or could even consider the possibility of hosting other events besides the year-end tournament in other cities around the country.

“We love Kansas City,” Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark said at Big 12 women’s basketball media day on Tuesday. “For the foreseeable future, we’re here. I would like to create some tentpole events, maybe outside of our championships, that give us an opportunity to showcase who we are, and where we’re going in major markets across this country in an effort, obviously, to nationalize this conference. Everything’s under consideration right now, but we’re thrilled about being here. I’ve heard wonderful things about this tournament, and for the foreseeable future, we’ll be here.”

What does a tentpole event outside of the championship events look like?

Don’t be surprised to see the Big 12 try and do some events in New York City, where Yormark did a media blitz last week alongside Baylor men’s basketball coach Scott Drew and West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins last week.

Events like that will be part of Yormark’s larger strategy to nationalize the conference and enhance the league’s brand nationwide over the next several years.

“I want student-athletes from coast to coast to vote yes, for this conference,” Yormark said. “Right now, they always vote for schools. I want to give them another reason to vote for this conference. I want them to recognize us, like all the things we’re doing and where we’re going, and be on their consciousness. Right now, I’m not sure that’s happening. But hopefully, in a period of time, we’ll have that dynamic.”

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.