Oklahoma City could benefit from women's separate Big 12 basketball tournament

By John Rohde Modified: May 22, 2010 at 12:53 am •  Published: May 22, 2010
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photo - The Big 12 Women’s Basketball Tournament drew well in  Oklahoma City in 2007 and 2009. OKLAHOMAN FILE PHOTO
The Big 12 Women’s Basketball Tournament drew well in Oklahoma City in 2007 and 2009. OKLAHOMAN FILE PHOTO

/> The women’s tournament undeniably piggybacks off coverage of the men’s tournament, and that’s not a bad thing. In Oklahoma City, the tournaments were across the street from each other. In Kansas City, the Sprint Center and Municipal Auditorium are six blocks apart. Forget Dallas, where Reunion Arena no longer exists.

Although Kansas City oozes history and is an outstanding site for both tournaments, the women’s tournament coverage was dwarfed by the men last March. The women barely got mentioned by local television stations while men’s results came complete with highlights and interviews.

This much is certain, if the Big 12 tournaments were held on the same days in different cities, the women’s tournament would be dead where it stands in terms of newspaper and television coverage.

Texas coach Gail Goestenkors, who previously coached at Duke, spoke glowingly of the Atlantic Coast women’s tournament in Greensboro, N.C., which is held one week prior to the ACC men’s tournament every year.

Staging both tournaments simultaneously in the same city allows media and fans to double-dip, which is extremely beneficial. It also cut down on the conference’s cost for staging both events.

This women’s tournament chatter is only in the exploratory stage, but it behooves a conference to think ahead, particularly in these days of financial uncertainty and potential expansion.

Please visit newsok.com and participate in our online poll, which asks: Should the Big 12 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments be held on different dates in different cities?

"I really hope people vote on this,” Oklahoma State coach Kurt Budke said. "We really care about our fans and would like to know what they think.”

John Rohde: 475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.



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