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September 22, 2009

Arena glut watch: No NCAAs for Wichita

Another cautionary tale about the promises made by stadium and arena seekers: After spending $205 million to build a new arena, in part to have a shot at hosting a share of the NCAA basketball tournament, the city of Wichita has been told that it won't get one before 2014 at the earliest. And the explanation, while meant to be reassuring, isn't exactly:

"There was nothing wrong with Wichita's bid," [NCAA men's basketball associate director David Worlock] said. "We just ran out of slots. We don't want people to be discouraged by the announcement today. It's ultra-competitive, especially in the Midwest."

Of course, it's entirely possible that Wichita will land a round of the NCAAs one of these years. But with Tulsa, Kansas City, Omaha (all of which landed parts of future tourneys), Oklahoma City, and Des Moines (which didn't) all boasting new arenas as well, it's likely to remain a rare enough event to wonder if it was really worth $205 million to have a shot at it. Though I guess Wichita Thunder fans will be happy about getting new digs ... sort of.


This is really where the arena craziness gets sad and desperate.

This reminds me of this song for some reason (poor Wichita):

Posted by floormaster squeeze on September 22, 2009 12:05 PM

KJ pulled a similar stunt today:

I wonder if his first words at the press conference were, "Nice little baskeball team you got there...". Because, damn, he sure sounds like he's making threats.

Posted by MikeM on September 23, 2009 12:38 AM

A more up-to-date article regarding Sacramento's situation is now available:

Honestly, I'm not sure if the various factions could get much farther apart. We have declining attendance and revenue, very little corporate presence, a 12.2% unemployment rate, work furloughs, a severe homeless problem, cuts to the sheriff and police departments, parks closing, maintenance issues, layoffs, CPS issues, and... The biggest problem is the arena?

If I seem unconvinced, it's because I am. No NCAA tournament? How about CPS closing?

I hope the Maloofs and KJ understand what they're doing.

It's simple: In 1984, Sacramento's economy had plenty in it to support an NBA team; in 2009's economy, it doesn't. Things have changed.

Posted by MikeM on September 23, 2009 01:21 PM

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