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How To Have The Best Big 12 Tournament Experience

How To Have The Best Big 12 Tournament Experience

Kansas City has long been known as a sports town, with a strong history of hosting a variety of high-profile sporting events. One such event is the upcoming Big 12 Tournament. The Big 12 Tournament has been played every year since 1997, and has only not been hosted in Kansas City a total of 5 times. Over the years, the tournament has had a significant impact on the city, both economically and socially. Whether you prefer to really experience the atmosphere surrounding a large event like this or would rather keep it low-key, we have some options for you!

The Economic Impact Of The Big 12 Tournament

First and foremost, the Big 12 Tournament brings in a significant amount of revenue for Kansas City. According to a study conducted by the Kemper Consulting Group, the tournament generates an estimated $14.7 million in economic impact for the city each year. This is due to a number of factors, including increased hotel bookings, restaurant and bar sales, and other tourist-related expenditures. In addition, the tournament helps to support local businesses and creates jobs for the surrounding area.

The Tangible Impact On Kansas City

The Big 12 Tournament brings together basketball fans from across the country. This sense of unity can be seen in the enthusiastic crowds that attend the games, as well as in the numerous watch parties and other events that take place throughout the city. During the tournament and the days leading up to the tournament, the population grows by about 30,000-50,000 people. That influx of bodies is great for local businesses, however it does create an increase in traffic frustrations, especially downtown. The popular Kansas City hotspots are also inundated with people looking to make the most of their time in the area.

Join The Crowds

If you like being where the action is and don’t mind crowds, here are a few spots to check out. The first is definitely the Kansas City Live! Block at the Power & Light District. While the details for Hoops Central are still being ironed out, you will be able to find all of the event details here. Want to go BIG? Catch Shaquille O’Neal (AKA DJ Diesel) at KC Live! Block on Saturday 3/11 at 8pm! Details can be found here.

Assuming you’re a big college basketball fan, brave the crowds and take in The College Basketball Experience. The College Basketball Experience is an entertainment facility connected to T-Mobile Center, the home of The Big 12 Tournament. It is home to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, where visitors can honor college basketball legends and learn about the history of the game. Additionally, you can truly experience college basketball by participating in activities and games. Learn more and purchase tickets here.

Avoid The Crowds

If large crowds aren’t your thing but you still want to enjoy what Kansas City has to offer during the tournament, check out the following places:

Joe’s Kansas City BBQ

Chances are that you’ve heard a little something about Kansas City barbecue. If you want to try some of the best around, head to the suburbs! Joe’s Kansas City BBQ originated in the heart of the city but has expanded to three locations including one in Olathe, right off of I-35. Head there and try the famous Z-Man sandwich or one of their many other options that are sure to make your mouth water.

11950 S Strang Line Rd, Olathe, KS 66062


Add a little excitement to your week at BRKTHROUGH! BRKTHROUGH  is a brand new social gaming destination designed for teams of 2-4 players, and is unlike anything you have ever experienced. At over 22,000 square feet of space, it features over 35 unique and immersive high-technology game rooms that are a fast-paced combination of physical, mental, and skill-based challenges, designed to maximize fun for you and your teammates. BRKTHROUGH has only been open for a couple of months, so it may not hurt to call ahead or even pre-book your time. It’s located in Overland Park, KS, right next to Scheels.

6403 W 135th St Suite E4, Overland Park, KS 66223


Speaking of Scheels…Scheels is a giant sporting goods store with something for everyone. Check out everything from basic sports like basketball, baseball, and soccer to paddle boards and mountain bikes. There are multiple levels, AND A FERRIS WHEEL. INSIDE the store. Definitely a fun place to be for the sports-loving family!

6503 W 135th Street Overland Park , KS 66223

Powell Gardens

Kansas City weather can be a bit unpredictable, but if the weather is nice and you like to be outdoors, Powell Gardens just east of Lee’s Summit is a must-see! With nearly 1,000 acres of beautiful scenery, Kansas City’s botanical garden should be on your list. There are several different Gardens, and you can even take a 1-mile hike!

1609 NW US Hwy 50, Kingsville, MO 64061

No matter how you like to enjoy your time or how you plan to watch the games, Kansas City has great options for you! Have a must-see that we missed? Leave it in the comments! 

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