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Mizzou A.D. Wants An SEC Tourney In St. Louis, Too

Last month, Missouri athletic director Mike Alden came out in favor of Kansas City bidding to land and host a future SEC basketball tournament.  At the time, we said KC was on the far side of the state and far from all SEC teams not named Arkansas or Mizzou.  We suggested St. Louis would be a better fit for a Show-Me State tourney.

Now Alden is backing one of those, too:


“The SEC Tournament is going to be up for bid in 2017 and 2018, which I made sure that Frank Viverito and Dave Peacock (St. Louis Sports Commission members) know.  No reason why St. Louis can’t bid on having the SEC tournament here as well as the Missouri Valley Tournament.”


As we wrote last month, the SEC would be wise to award its tourney to a select group of host cities.  As the league learned from its tourney in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2009, taking the highest bid doesn’t necessarily guarantee good ticket sales or filled seats during national TV broadcasts.

In our view, Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans are all either centrally-located, tourist destinations, or both.  Those four cities should be part of any SEC Tournament rotation. 

Then if the league wants to bid out a tourney every now and then to St. Louis, Houston or even Kansas City to appease the newest members of the league, fine.  (The chance to nosh on some toasted ravioli at Rigazzi’s on The Hill is A-OK with this writer.)  But the league had better not bid tourneys out to the Hinterlands with too much regularity lest it damage its hoops reputation further via empty courtside seats shown during game after game on national television.  Because regardless of what the folks in KC, STL or Houston say, there wouldn’t be 10 people attending a Thursday afternoon first-round game between South Carolina and Auburn in any of those joints.

 


9 comments
Andy
Andy

St. Louis is centrally located.  It's not far from Mizzou, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vandy, and Ole Miss.  That's half the league right there.  Also, the St. Louis metro area as 2.5M people and they are known to support basketball.  Attendance would be high.

David
David

Anywhere but Memphis. 

AndrewMartin
AndrewMartin

I am not from Florida and I sounds like the tourny attendance did not go well in Florida, but I would think there would be a location that made sense in that state in addition to Houston, Dallas, St. Louis, etc.  There are a lot of people in Florida and it also is a destination state for many travelers. 

 

Mattox
Mattox

The 2009 SEC Tournament was a disaster because Kentucky basketball was in turmoil under Billy Gillispie.  If the SEC Tournament were in St. Petersburg this year, ticket sales would be robust and 20,000+ Kentucky fans would be in attendance.  I don't mind the idea of an SEC Tournament in St. Louis, but I think Kansas City is too much of a stretch and too far outside 'SEC Country'. 

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

David...

 

Sorry, but walking straight out of the FedExForum onto Bourbon Street works for me and thousands of other tourists each year.

 

Thanks for reading,

John

 

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

Mattox...

 

Keep in mind, Florida fans haven't always given robust support to their own basketball team attendance-wise... despite winning two national crowns in the last decade.  (Cue the debaters, but everyone knows Billy Donovan's often been asked about empty seats at the O-Dome over the years.)

 

Part of making a successful tourney is putting it in a place where basketball-crazy fans are nearby.  St. Louis would have Missouri and Kentucky fans.  Kansas City would at least have Missouri and Arkansas fans.  Houston, well, that's another matter.

 

But St. Pete proved to be a dud with a capital D in '09.  And we're not ready to totally blame Billy Gillispie for that (though UK fans also blame him for Hurricane Katrina, the Hanta virus, and the Dark Ages).

 

Thanks for reading the site,John 

AGator
AGator

 @John at MrSEC

 Even when UF was winning national championships people in Florida didn't seem to care much about basketball.

 

There are a lot more fans at Gator games now days than in the past. Florida used to be horrible in basketball and nobody cared. I remember some games in the old arena (Alligator Alley) where it appeared there were only a few hundred people in the stands. Only the Kentucky game would have a decent crowd.

 

I hope they give St. Louis a try. It's not far from Kentucky and Missouri fans would show up too.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

MoKelly...

 

D'oh!  Obviously, I've killed a few too many brain cells on both Bourbon and Beale in my day.

 

John

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