Sprint Center

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

The Big 12 men’s basketball tournament begins Wednesday downtown at the Sprint Center. Top-seeded Kansas doesn’t play until Thursday in the quarterfinals, but KU has already put itself in elite company winning its 13th consecutive regular season Big 12 title. That ties the Jayhawks with UCLA.

KU faced challenges on the court, but even more trouble off the court en route to this year’s title.

shortCHINESEguy / Flickr - CC

From biblical birthrights to the Belmont Stakes, people have always been obsessed with finishing first. Racing is the most fundamental form of sporting competition and, for better and for worse, a part of human nature. Commentator Victor Wishna elaborates in “A Fan’s Notes.”

You may not even know about it, but there is an earth-moving event happening right downtown. More than 3,000 tons of dirt is being hauled in to the Sprint Center, dumped on the floor, and bulldozed into a twisting track of moguls, ramps and jumps.

Professional Bull Riders (PBR)

Kansas City's microloan program has surpassed the $3-million mark. The funding focuses on business start-ups and expansion as explained by the lender involved and an entrepreneur who has benefited from one. Then, two of the top 45 international bull riders are Missouri-natives. Hear about their climb to the professional world and the techniques they use during those dangerous 8 seconds atop a bucking beast.

Queen Yuna / Flickr - CC

Figure skating competitors are in Kansas City this week for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Sprint Center. It’s the first time the figure skating national championships are in Kansas City since 1985. That was a breakthrough year for diversity in the sport, the figure skating nationals have struggled since then to match that diversity.

Phil Hersh, a former writer for the Chicago Tribune who covered 30 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, calls Tiffany Chin’s performance at the 1985 championships an “absolute revelation.”

Hannah Copeland / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City and Independence will host the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January 2017.

The Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City will host the senior and junior championships, and the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence will host the novice, intermediate and juvenile level events.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James says Kansas City area is a good fit for figure skating.

“Kansas City as you all know is a tremendous sports city,” Kansas City Mayor Sly James said. “We have the best sports fans in the world in my personal opinion.”

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Blue-clad and buzzing with 30 years' worth of pent up anticipation, Royals' fans began gathering in downtown Kansas City hours before the official start of Tuesday's World Series victory parade. 

Though they were here to cheer on the team that brought their city its first World Series title since the Reagan era, they also clearly drew a deeper meaning from the experience.

Paul Sableman / Creative Commons-Flickr

The University of Kansas Hospital is opening what hospital officials say is the first urgent care clinic in the downtown core of Kansas City, Mo.

Set to open on Monday, the clinic will be housed in the lobby of the Sprint Center, next to the College Basketball Experience.

In a news release, KU Hospital said the decision to open a clinic downtown was driven by the growing number of people working and living there.

Available to patients older than 6 months, the clinic will be open from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Additional hours might be added.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

How do you get 18 tigers, 20 horses, 16 poodles and a half-dozen Asian elephants to downtown Kansas City, Mo.?

By circus train, of course.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Assistant Animal Superintendent Ryan Henning says the logistics of bringing so many animals to town are almost as interesting as the show itself.

Henning answered a few of our questions while showing us around the temporary horse enclosures at the Sprint Center.

How do you get that many animals to town?

Sébastien Barré / Flickr-CC

We are on the verge of what every sports fan dreads worse than the agony of defeat: the occasional lull. The Winter Olympics, timed so perfectly to counter the post-Super Bowl hangover, are winding down, while March Madness and Royals Opening Day remain just out of reach.

Fortunately, I’ve found an antidote, not to mention the perfect answer to two weeks of ice dancing: The bulls are coming to town!

Glass Shell Damaged At Sprint Center

Mar 7, 2012

Two large panes of glass that make up the outer wall of the Kansas City Sprint Center broke today, as the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament was set to begin.

Kansas City, MO – A little over a week ago, city officials approved the final design for the 250 million dollar Sprint Center - the mayor says it looks like a crystal bowl. Construction begins soon on the city-financed site . . . but some black and Latino contractors and construction workers are concerned that they won't be included on the site.