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Big 12 awards Kansas City with men's, women's basketball tourneys

Kansas City will get its share of Big 12 basketball through 2014, providing there is a Big 12.

The conference announced today that the Sprint Center will be the site of the men's tournament for a three-year period beginning in 2012.

The women’s tournament will be played at Municipal Auditorium in 2012 and 2013, but the conference did not award the event for 2014, prompting speculation that the events may be contested in separate cities that year.

The tournaments were played at Sprint and Municipal in 2010 and will be in 2011.

The football championship game was not awarded but is expected to go to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, where it was played last season and will be played this December.

Commissioner Dan Beebe said the Big 12 Board of Directors has authorized him to deal directly with Cowboys Stadium for the football title game in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

The 2013 basketball championship will give Kansas City a hoops festival feeling. A week after the Big 12 event, Sprint Center will play host to NCAA Tournament first- and-second round games. The year is significant — 2013 is the 75th anniversary of the NCAA Tournament, which has its roots in Kansas City.The baseball tournament will go to Oklahoma City in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Beebe announced that the conference will distribute $139 million to league members based on revenue mostly from football television contracts, bowl games and the NCAA Tournament.

Do the championship sites signal confidence the Big 12 will be in existence in those years? Beebe expressed confidence today that Big 12 would continue.

“We have a very bright future in the media landscape.” Beebe said. “If we get out of our geographic regions we’re really going to be jeopardizing the future, causing much less interest in the major spectator sports.

“If you attach yourself to another region of the country it’s a big risk."

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