Should KU Drop Sprint Center Games and Schedule Away Games in Recruiting Hotbeds That Are Heavily Promoted Road Trips for The KU Fans?

  • In another thread, it was mentioned that board rats were not thrilled with the fan support in Sprint Center and were doubting games should be scheduled there. However, the assumption appeared to be that these games should be scheduled at AFH instead. I am wondering if maybe there is an alternative location that might make more sense.

    What if KUAD made a deal with a city in Florida, or Puerto Rico, wanting to build a new arena, or wanting to add to its event dates in an existing arena. KU would play all the games now scheduled at Sprint Center at the Florida arena, and maybe stage a summer Naismith International College Tournament there also. The Florida/Puerto Rico games would be scheduled every season. And KU fans would be able to plan their winter vacations to warm climates around these games. Maybe some KU alumni involved in real estate development could get involved in acquiring, or building, either, or both an arena and a tropical resort. Lord knows Puerto Rico is going to be open to development proposals in the coming year or two. The Florida option would be the best for basketball and football recruiting, of course. Building the KU in brand with 3-5 games each season in Florida with EST coverage all over the eastern seaboard would keep the KU brand front and center in high schoolers minds on the eastern seaboard. But Puerto Rico might be better for attracting KU fans to winter travel with the team.

    Another possibility might be to stage these “away-home” games in Ixtapa, Mexico, so that KU fans could ride “Jay Trains” from KC to Ixapa, stay in the marvelous resorts there during fall and mid winter games, and train back, too, at perhaps reasonable prices (haven’t really looked into this yet). The Jay Trains could have inexpensive coaches for students and young families, while sleeper cars could accommodate the more affluent. This would make use of the Super Corridor connection between Ixtapa and Kansas City that streamlines customs etc. How fun would this be at the Holiday break!!!

    Yet another cool possibility to brand some “away-home” games in the EST television market would be to stage a Naismith Memorial World College Basketball Tournament jointly with KU and McGill Universities in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in the summer, when Kansans are wanting to get out of the heat. The average temperature in Montreal in August is 70 degrees. It offers a magnificent French Canadian culture. The object of this would not be big crowds but slotting KU exposure into the EST. I see least potential benefit from this idea, but it never hurts to build marketing bridges with the British Commonwealth and its 1 billion or so common market. Jimmy Naismith and Andrew Wiggins offer Canadian and Commonwealth Marketing hooks and this sort of a relationship would almost guaranty KU getting first pick the occasional Canadian players that come along.

    My point of proposing all these alternatives to get KU fans thinking about broadening the marketing of KU basketball to help overcome the constraints of the shoe contract with more branding in the EST television market, and perhaps expanding our brand into the British Commonwealth. One of the best ways to sell shoes globally is to become a recognizable brand with a recognizable endorser capable of appealing in the British Commonwealth.

    Add other proposals and comments. We have to learn from this season’s so far traumatic experience regarding effects of long term recruiting constraints.

  • I’m just against anyone calling the Sprint Center a KU home game. Bull snit! It’s about the same distance from AFH as Columbia, Mizzou. Would a game at Mizzou also be considered a home game?

    How about we hold our own annual classic? How about in Maui? Right at Christmas every single year!

    How many recruits want to spend their Christmas joy in Maui? And fans?

  • Agree with @drgnslayr - play there if you feel there’s some particular need to - just don’t call it a home game - IT AIN’T. We do have one venue that is a little further that we COULD call a home game - the Octagon of Stupid in Manhattan.

  • Every KU game i’ve attended there outside of Big 12 Tourney when we play ISU or Missouri, the crowd was about 90% Jayhawks. It isn’t AFH but it definitely has the home crowd advantage and there is no denying that.

  • but to @jaybate-1-0 's point, I like where you are going with it. I like the idea of using the game to promote recruiting.

    we do a lot of traveling–Italy, Japan, Canada (right??), Bahamas, Hawaii, for pre conference tourney’s but they do not seem to be in recruiting hotbeds. More tourneys in Chicago, New York, and the Carolina.

  • @drgnslayr

    I’m definitely for MAUI, because I am already infrastructured in Hawaii.

    But I’m not sure we will get the desired TV coverage there.

    You know Europe and Euro ball pretty well.

    Could KU set up any kind of tournament over there that might get us better access to the top European players?

  • @jaybate-1-0 Home ain’t home if it ain’t in your HOME state, on your HOME court, on your HOME campus, in your HOME town.

  • Not going to happen

  • I hate the sprint center (for everything), so I vote for a high school gym in Maui too.

  • blackmild33 said:

    Not going to happen

    You sound certain, as if you know the actual, underlying reasons why the games are scheduled at Sprint Center. I’m not doubting you. But if you know why it cannot happen, I would like to know the reason. Thanks in advance.

  • KU schedules at least 1 game per season at the Sprint Center solely for the benefit of fans in the KC Metro area which holds the largest alumni base in the country. Financially, the game benefits KC MO and not Kansas at all; too bad there is not a large arena at the Legends and Wichita is out of the question.

    The NCAA has limits on the trips a team can take overseas and I believe also on tournaments such as those in Hawaii. Why would KU want to play yearly in Puerto Rico escapes me.

  • JayHawkFanToo said:

    KU schedules at least 1 game per season at the Sprint Center solely for the benefit of fans in the KC Metro area which holds the largest alumni base in the country. Financially, the game benefits KC MO and not Kansas at all; too bad there is not a large arena at the Legends and Wichita is out of the question.

    The NCAA has limits on the trips a team can take overseas and I believe also on tournaments such as those in Hawaii. Why would KU want to play yearly in Puerto Rico escapes me.

    Your response escapes me.

    Why would it matter how many games KU schedules at Sprint? The relevance of that escapes me.

    Next, it appears silly for KU to schedule 1 game at the Sprint for our alumni base in KC, when AFH is a 20-30 minute drive from the bulk of our alumni base in Kansas City, the majority of whom probably live on the Kansas side. Its quite possible that AFH would be an easier trip for most KU fans in KC than would be Sprint given big city traffic congestion in KC. Concluding playing in Sprint does a service for KU fans escapes me.

    Mastering the obvious of NCAA limits on trips overseas escapes me.

    Mastering the obvious of NCAA limits on tournaments like those in Hawaii escapes me.

    Not understanding that Puerto Rico, or Florida, games would give KU fans a reason to make their winter trips to these balmy resort destinations, well, THAT ESCAPES ME.


    Come on, let’s find a venue in the EST at a resort destination with great weather and both brand manage and give our fans a fun vacation trip!!!

  • Buffer 1

  • Well…for merely the short term…I really hope KU plays more than 1 game in the sprint center next year. Hopefully they “schedule” 6 games there. It wouldn’t break my heart if KU lost a game or 2 more than “expected” and got moved to the east region. I live in Annapolis so, I would love it if they came to supposed Maryland hotbed recruiting area of Dematha, Gonzaga, and all the kids from Upper Marlboro who are all D-1 ballers somehow for the sweet 16 and elite 8.

    As for farther down the road…I’m sure it’s merely an economics thing??? There are 2,600+ additional seats I guess…at $50/ticket…that’s over $133k. Of course the sprint center takes their rental fee, which I don’t have exact values…but I’d think it would be in the $50k realm. So we’re literally talking pennies on the dollar for the venue after share distribution. (of course pennies on the dollar to a multi-million dollar organization…not some nobody like me)

    The only thing I could imagine is for both teams to believe it’s financially advantageous and considered a “neutral court” game. Thus a loss won’t weigh in too heavily. Or maybe the Sprint Center has an agreement with KU on the side to play there merely to show the NCAA and the conference they should be awarded the tourney games…maybe?? I don’t know. I’m purely speculating and making stuff up by this time to try to justify the move.

  • Is the Sprint Center game a part of the season ticket package? If not, then that’s probably why KU keeps the games there because AFH games have maybe a couple of thousand tickets at most for each game and less for the higher profile games.

  • @bmensch1

    Coach Self has indicated several times that KU derives well over $500K from games at AFH and just over $100K from games at Sprint Center. You can see that financially it is advantageous to play at AFH. Also, tickets at AFH are difficult to get as it is pretty much sold out for the season while tickets at Sprint are much easier to get plus you can party before and after at the Power and Light District.

  • Buffer 1

  • Puerto Rico and Cuba are the next really huge development opps in the Caribbean Basin: Puerto Rico because of the 'cane damage, and Cuba because of the communism damage. I would really like to see some KU alumni build an arena in Cuba, or Puerto Rico, and tie it to a huge casino/hotel/resort complex called the Crimson Resort. Puerto Rico would be very cool, since it is a part of USA and so they could apply for an NBA franchise for the arena. NBA leadership would love a gambling operation, er, um, franchise in a great climate and its about time KU got a cut of all the gambling revenues off the top that Big Gaming is making off our Birds. Let’s open our own casino!!! Man, could we fund the minor sports with gambling revenues, or what!!! This resort/arena/gaming complex could be owned by another KU spin off–a Panama, or Netherland Antilles corporation that banks in the Caymans. Call it KUED aka KU Entertaiment Department. This baby could be churning out beau coup bucks 365 days a year for the minor sports. Why, in no time at all, we can have all the minor sports locker rooms and playing facilities 24K gold plated. The minor sports could wear all Tom Ford designer outfits. And there would still be enough left over for another KU spin off called KUPSC aka KU PetroShoeCo to go into business making KU brand basketball shoes in a factory we would get a big Trump tax break for opening up on Puerto Rico. Imagine KU with its own shoe brand and with the revenues from a really booming casino able to run may 10 power summer game teams!!! Every year KU would have a long stack of 13 scholarship OADS. Every year KU would win the NCAA March Carney no matter how much they shafted us with seeding. This dog hunts!!!

    And the fans would be able to travel down to 1 pre conference holiday tournament and maybe a couple of other non conference games to get out of the cold weather in Kansas this time of year.

    Oh, what the hell!!! KU could rent out the Crimson Resort to other D1 teams that wanted to schedule some of their home games in a resort setting for their fans! There are 300 plus D1 teams. I’ve got to think at least a hundred of them would be willing to schedule at least one of their home games down at the Crimson Resort in Puerto Rico.

    This is a classic win-win.

    Americans helping fellow Americans in Puerto Rico.

    Jayhawk faithful getting some of Puerto Rico’s balmy climate.

    Rock Chalk!


  • Buffer 1

  • As poorly as KU plays in the soulless Sprint Center KU should practice there as often as possible 2 weeks a year minimum. The NCAA routinely “awards” KU with Tournament games there, it’s time to make it our home court. I’m sick of watching our guys shoot like crap in large arenas. Allen Fieldhouse can be too comfortable and our team needs to face a little adversity to see how they respond. The last two games responses to adversity were not encouraging.

  • The idea of practicing there more is a good one. To get out of the comfort zone, and in a bigger arena (which would apply in March). Money issues aside, if we could draw it up, it would be nice to play more true road games in non-con.

  • @dylans @HighEliteMajor

    I posted before that as part of the contract to play at the Sprint Center, KU should be given at least 3 days of practice there the week before. Logistically it would be very difficult since even if the place is available the floor would have to be installed every time in between other events such as concerts that require extensive and time consuming staging where the court is.

    No question that AFH is different than other arenas. The seats are close the court and the bench tiers, where fans seat very tight, go up quickly and are almost on top of each other where the newer arenas have the seats more spread out, both horizontally and vertically. I imagine that from a shooter’s perspective there is a marked difference in shooting perspective at AFH versus modern arenas. What is an advantage at AFH becomes a disadvantage at the bigger venues.

  • Alumni, the reason we play at the sprint center. Honestly it’s a good place to play, get a few locals that don’t wanna pay for the higher fieldhouse tickets. It’s similar to where most of the NCAA games with be played before the final four(obviously where the conference tournament is). The power and light district is awesome, don’t blame our in ability to win in the place on anyone but our players and staff. We wouldn’t be talking down the place if our guys would’ve at least showed up vs Washington. I hate that ESPN claims we have back to back home losses for the first time since 1989. Which is BS, it’s a 35 mile drive in another city, and state. When WSU lost to OSU last year in Intrust, no one called it a home loss tho its all of maybe 4 miles from Koch in the same city.

  • kjayhawks said:

    I hate that ESPN claims we have back to back home losses for the first time since 1989.

    ESPN talks about us, really? We should lose more often…

    KU calls it a home game and sells it in the season ticket package so don’t blame ESPN - for that one.

  • @kjayhawks

    As a fan, the Sprint Center experience with great seats along with the Power and Light District is really nice. As a player, an arena that looks so different that AFH can be a negative and I read the players do not like playing there. The advantage of playing at AFH becomes a disadvantage when playing in the newer, larger arenas.