ST. LOUIS -- The Missouri Valley Conference has exercised contract extensions to conduct both its men’s and women’s basketball championship in the St. Louis region for at least two more years. The MVC men’s championship will be at Scottrade Center in St. Louis through 2015, while the MVC women’s championship will be played at Family Arena in St. Charles through 2014.
“This was an important decision for our conference, and we are excited to be able to continue the remarkable run that our tournaments have enjoyed in this neutral city,” said Elgin. “We are indebted to Scottrade Center and to Family Arena and to many corporate supporters who have made it possible for us to grow our tournaments in a first-class fashion at a neutral site,” Elgin said.
Only the Big East Conference has had a longer, continuously-running event at the same neutral site than has the Missouri Valley with its Arch Madness, which has built a strong tradition with the men’s basketball championship in St. Louis. The Big East has played its men’s tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City every year since 1981 (33rd consecutive year in 2013).
Before moving to the new American Airlines Center in Dallas for the 2003 tournament, the Big 12/Big 8 event had been staged at Kemper Arena in Kansas City since 1977 before moving to the Texas site (a string of 26-straight in Kansas City). With the signing of the extension, the Missouri Valley Conference will be celebrating its 25th year in St. Louis during the 2015 tournament.
Now in its 18th year, the MVC Women’s Basketball Championship has truly become a weekend event. In 2012, over 8,000 fans attended the league’s fifth neutral site event at The Family Arena. This year, the championship weekend begins on the evening of March 14 and concludes with a 2 p.m. title game March 17.