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Big 12 Conference and Kansas City Sports Commission Announce Two-Year Extension for Basketball Championships

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The Big 12 Conference voted to approve a two-year extension to the multi-year agreement for Kansas City to serve as the host site for the Phillips 66 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships. The events will remain in Kansas City for 2026 and 2027.

“Kansas City’s long affiliation with the Big 12 Conference entered an exciting new chapter in 2020 when we welcomed the women’s tournament back to Kansas City,” said Kathy Nelson, President and CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission and Visit KC. “Our city’s passion for basketball is on full display during the Big 12 Basketball Championships and we could not be more excited to continue our tradition of excellence when hosting these tournaments.”

This past March, downtown Kansas City was transformed to celebrate the Big 12’s return with commemorative street pole banners and a custom-wrapped streetcar, as well as activations in Barney Allis Plaza and the Power & Light District. Additional programming included the Big 12 Big Q barbecue contest and the Big 12 Run.

“Kansas City has been a valued partner, showcasing a true dedication to making these tournaments the best postseason basketball event in the country,” stated Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “As we prepare to welcome four new schools in the coming years, I’m confident Kansas City will continue to deliver a first-class Championship experience for our athletes, administrators, fans and partners.”

In 2022, the men’s tournament was played at T-Mobile Center, where crowds have averaged almost 18,000 people each year. The women’s tournament was conducted at Municipal Auditorium, which recorded the highest number of attendees for the women’s basketball quarterfinals since 2013.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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