Kansas City Sports Commission Spring Newsletter
March 2012



Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's & Women's Basketball Championship

This past week Kansas City was host once again to the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships.  This was the 11th time in the conference’s 16-season history that Kansas City has hosted the Championships, more than any other city.  Fans crowded the GameDay activities on Grand Boulevard and hit their favorite local restaurants, watering holes and stores in record numbers.

Through the coordination efforts of the Kansas City Sports Commission and Convention and Visitors Association, over 150 experienced and dedicated volunteers of the Kansas City Host Committee rolled out the red carpet for the Conference and its members.

It was a great week of basketball on the heels of the MIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships and the start of the 75th Annual Buffalo Funds-NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship. By the end of the NAIA Championship, Kansas City will have hosted more college basketball games than anywhere else in the country. 68 teams and 63 games in just 14 days. 



St. Patrick's Day Recap

Nearly 3,900 participated in this year's race!  What an awesome day for a 4 mile run through the heart of Westport and we couldn't have asked for a better crowd of green party goers!  A special thank you to Harry's Bar for hosting our official after party as well as to all the great volunteers that assisted with Late Registration and Packet Pickup, Course Monitoring, Midway Water Station, the Finish Line Area and more.  We couldn't have done it without you!



Love and friendship can be found when volunteering

Russ and Kelly Circle first met while volunteering for the Big 12 Basketball Championships in 2000.  Russ was the co-chair of VIP transportation with Mark Gibbs.  Mark suggested Kelly help volunteer and he also wanted to introduce the two as Mark thought they would be a good couple.  Russ' first encounter with Kelly was at a volunteer pre-tournament meeting when Kelly rushed into the meeting right when Russ was calling the meeting to order.  Read the rest of the story



Buck O'Neil Negro Leagues YOuth Baseball CLinic

Join us, Saturday, April 21 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Cleveland Park (43rd & Cleveland) for the Annual Buck O'Neil Negro Leagues Baseball Clinic. This clinic is free for all boys and girls ages 8-12 who will get instruction on various aspects of the game from former professional baseball players. You must register to participate, so click here to obtain the registration form.

All participants will receive an official Buck O'Neil Negro Leagues Baseball T-shirt and a goodie bag.  Make sure to stay after the clinic for the Boys and Girls Club of Kansas City Pitch, Hit and Run competition.  Boys and girls ages 7-14 will compete to represent Kansas City at sectionals, then to team championships (at MLB ballparks) and can potentially make it to the National Finals held at Kauffman Stadium at the 2012 All Star Game in July.

For more information visit the event website or contact our office at events5@sportkc.org or (816) 474.4652 ext. 4178.



Darren Sproles 5K - Saturday, June 23

Grab your running shoes and join New Orleans running back and Kansas native Darren Sproles at a 5k walk and fun run on Saturday June 23 benefiting the Sproles Empowered Youth. Participants will enjoy a beautiful walk around Southcreek Office Park in Overland Park, KS, while also supporting underserved youth in the Kansas City area. The family-friendly event will have activities fun for everyone including an autograph booth, a kids fun zone, live music, a complimentary food court and much more! The first 1,500 paid entrants will also receive a FREE hand-signed Sproles football card. Registration is now open. Visit the official race website for more information. 



Brett Vena - LLS Kansas City Man of the Year Contest

KC Sports Commission's own Brett Vena is a candidate for the Kansas City Man of the Year for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  For ten weeks, candidates raise funds to win the title.  LLS is close to Brett's heart as both of his grandmothers have experienced the fight against leukemia and lymphoma.  His grandmother, Hazel, is a survivor of lymphoma and his grandmother, Elly, is currently battling Chronic Lymphoblastic Leukemia (CLL).  Brett says his grandmothers are not the only reason he is competing, it's about the true mission of fighting blood cancers and all the unfortunate individuals who have to go through it.  Click here to donate to LLS and cast our vote for Brett.



Inaugural Kevin Gray Father's Day 5K Run - June 16

Come celebrate the life of Kevin Gray, former head of the Greater Kansas City Sports Commission.  Imagine the crack of a bat as you pass through CommunityAmerica Ballpark, the roar of the engine as you visit the Kansas Speedway, and the Caldron's pounding drum as you finish the event on the pitch at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.  What a course!  Click here for more information and to register.

Beneficiaries include:

  • Kevin Gray Family Educational Fund
  • Greater Kansas City Sports Commission & Foundation
  • University of Kansas Cancer Center



Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon with Ivy Funds

This October, be a part of one of Kansas City's premier running events, which draws runners from 46 states and 10 countries.  Join a sea of thousands as they run through some of Kansas City's most scenic areas including the Plaza, Brush Creek, Loose Park, Ward Parkway, Waldo and Brookside. The race will start and finish at Crown Center at 2450 Grand Blvd on October 20.  For more information on this year's race click here.