For many years running Kansas City MO. has hosted the Big 12 Tournament. This year was no exception.  However, this year proved a bit more interesting in the Big 12 as the University of Missouri leaves for the SEC conference next season. Take away one of the primary schools in this region, couple it with the fact that Kansas City is in the state of Missouri, and no Missouri team will be in the Big 12 next year…..well, put on your political hat, and I think you know the answer as to the future of the Big 12 Tourney in Kansas City. Actually, the Big 12 Men’s Tourney is under contract to return next year. But that will be all she wrote for KC.  Too bad. This sleepy midwestern city, come to find out is anything but.

In reality, this city is bustling with entertainment, clubs, bars and restaurants. Quite contrary to the branding most outsiders place on this city. The center piece of this entertainment is the Power and Light District, pictured to the left. (thanks to whoever I stole this pic from). This district is adjacent to the Sprint Center where the Men’s Tourney takes place.  Here there are numerous bars and restaurants.  Many surround an inner courtyard which is anchored by a stage, a main level on the ground with balconies surrounding the main area. Eateries such as McFaddens and Maker’s Mark restaurant turn into terrific places to hang pre and post game to get you drink on. It gets quite crowded during events, so one must be prepared. But the vibe is unmistakable.  Music fills the center court. Many nights there is live music on stage. Parking can be difficult and so can navigation.  For events like the Big 12 tourney, they block off many streets around the sprint center….you will pay $30 to park adjacent to all the action.  But there is really no need to park that close.  While the Men’s tourney was held in the Sprint Center, the women’s Bit 12 Tourney was held in Memorial Auditorium, about 6 blocks away and an easy walk. Parking at Memorial was $10 for garage and safe parking.  The walk was nothing.  But for those who may have an issue walking this way without a break, there are many bars and eateries in between the two venues to take your break at. Around the Sprint Center, there were the restaurants I mention, 801 Chop House to get your steak on and lighten your wallet a bit, a Gordon Beirsch brewery restaurant……too many to remember or discuss here. Whatever your taste, it is offered in this area.

Most of the lodging in this area is high end and high priced. We stayed in the Plaza area.  I was previously familiar with this area from days of a career in telecom sales selling to Sprint. This is a separate entertainment district with a distinct upscale fell to it.  It is due west down Main Street about 4-5 miles.  Once again here is a collection of great restaurants, anchored by Plaza III…..one of my favorite upscale steak houses in the nation. A return to Plaza III did not disappoint.  But there are many other good choices. There are a few chain eateries, such as PF Chang’s and Cheesecake Factory, but one thing I was most impress with in Kansas City was the lack of chain restaurants.  Most are individual or limited, local chains. We tried to support these as much as possible.  Further, between the plaza area and central KC, along Main Street and several adjacent streets, are different neighborhoods that each have a feel of its own and a bevy of restaurants and bars with personalities to match the area.  Many of these were in transition type neighborhoods, mixing together various economies and people. Also in these neighborhood were the corner bars…the kind we have written about here on redd. Places like Danny’s, or Partners…..you get the picture.  A great place for nothing other than a good ole Old Style or the like.

Power and Light District

Various eateries that we tried were in these type of neighborhoods. WE will provide reviews of the restaurants in the coming posts.  But for now, lets just say that our down time at the tourney was spent at the Tannin Wine Bar and Kitchen.  This was about 4 blocks from the Sprint Center…..far enough to get away from the crowds, close enough to get there quickly without getting into a car.  The restaurants we will review in future posts are the above, Extra Virgin, PizzaBella, and Oklahoma Joe’s…….(its KC, had to try the BBQ, since we reguraly review BBQ joints on this site).

WE are quite bummed that the Big 12 Tourney will not be in KC in the future…..all due to the decision of a state school to chase TV revenues and become an also ran in the SEC conference. Good riddens.  But to KC, this is big business that is lost in their future. They have an incredible amount of public facilities that have been erected with their 10.35% sales tax (yes you heard that right….I did not calculate, but this was told to me by a manager at Plaza III).  The revenue contributes to keep a clean city, and largely a safe city.  I will miss going to KC for the Big 12 Tourney. Unfortunately, I have no real other reason to go there given its locale to Texas.  So I say farewell, and if you ever travel in the central US, stop at KC. There is so much unique entertainment (yes, you gambling addicts….they have casinos)

The experience at KC is top notch, the food top notch, the watering holes top notch.  Look for reviews in coming posts on Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ, Extra Virgin, Tannin Wine Bar and Kitchen, Plaza III, and Pizza Bella. These post will drive our content for the near future…..its generally that good.

Peace

 

 

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I have yet to perfect the ability to be in two places at one time and I have tickets for the men’s and women’s Big 12 tournament games.  Because the dates and times severely overlap and I attempt to catch as many games as possible, I know that there are some tickets that will not be used.  If the unused tickets are for the women’s games, well, I might as well blow my nose on them because there is no resale market.  But the men’s tickets have value.  So I endeavored to find a civilized way to sell my tickets for the men’s session tomorrow morning because I will be at the Lady Bear games.

 

I have bought through Stubhub in the past.  I have sold tickets well in advance through stubhub, but I have never tried to sell at the last minute.  It is quite the adventure.  I will share with you how it works because a lot of people don’t care for women’s basketball and won’t read further once I get into that.

 

The first thing you have to do is to list your tickets on Stubhub by event, section, row, seat and how much you want for the ticket.  I merely wanted my face value of $45.  Stubhub then tells you what that will net you.  They take their fair share. Then Stubhub tells you that because you have waited sooooooooo late, you have to participate in a late delivery system unless you have electronic tickets (which I don’t). You list them, tell them your paypal account and then a day later they tell you what you need to do to get your tickets to stubhub.

 

The big jolt is that, until Stubhub has your tickets in hand, your listing doesn’t even get posted online.

 

So I get this email to take my tickets to David somebody at the Marriott in Kansas City at the corner of Main and 12th. Really, that’s pretty much all you get. And to put your tickets in an envelope with your email, phone number, etc etc etc.

 

So I get to Municipal Auditorium early (9:30 a.m.) as it is located near 12th and Main Street.  And (pause for dramatic effect), there are Marriotts on TWO CORNERS of the intersection.  I pick the larger one, go in and ask the desk person to help me find the stubhub person (they set up temporary offices, apparently, to faciliate these special events).  The desk person (Rod) has a fedex envelope to deliver to David also, so he takes me with him to find David.  David is usually set up in one of the conference rooms.  Alas, it is occupied by Weight Watchers.  I tell Rod that Weight Watchers really works.  He doesn’t respond.  Given his body shape, I would have thought that he would take a greater interest.

 

So we take off for David’s room, which puzzles Rod, because Rod thinks it is a little sketch that Stubhub David would be operating out of his hotel room.  But there we stand, outside of Room 640, just a-knocking.  No David. So I leave my tickets with Rod to give to David.

 

Here’s what is supposed to happen next: your tickets get listed when Stubhub gets their grubby hands on them. I check via my phone periodically throughout the day. Nothing listed until 3:00 p.m.  My solo ticket has not sold yet and apparently I have to confirm the sale if it happens. We shall see. But in my quest to find out if my ticket was listed (to met me about $30), I noticed that the Thursday a.m. session prices were sky high! I look at see that in the first game of that session, Kansas is playing and in the second game of that session, Kansas State is playing. Baylor men are not in that bracket so even if they win tomorrow (insert laughter), then they would play in the evening bracket.

 

It looks like I can sell that one session ticket and net about $170. I paid $360 in total for all of my tickets. Kid you not. So I listed it and I will be back at the Marriott bright and early tomorrow a.m., once again looking for Stubhub David.

 

Last year, I sold my championship game ticket so if the Baylor men are not playing in that game (insert laughter), then I plan to sell THAT ticket, too.

 

No surprises in the women’s brackets: the higher seeds all advanced.  The Iowa State v. Nebraska women’s game was a real mawtapper and it looked as if the Lady Cornhuskers would advance as the 12 seed but, alas, they did not.  The two teams leaving the Big 12 were the teams that bowed out first.  Lady Bears get Kansas tomorrow.  We drummed Kansas pretty good in January (39 points), but anything can happen in the Big 12 and if you take a game for granted, well then just pack those basketball shorts up and get on the bus.

 

I smuggled quite a bit of food and I was super excited to discover that I have an excellent place to smuggle a banana in (but they were all green at the store). I have one of those rain hoods that you can fold into a snap down collar.  I opened the collar up and it would be perfect to hide a banana. I stuffed something into every zip pocket of my lands end coat and then put my coat over my arm and walked in with it.  The ushers do not seem to notice that I am eating a ham sandwich on multigrain bread with baby organic spinach on it. The lady behind me was amazed by my orange that I peeled and ate and she told me that she had an apple that she wanted to bring, but didn’t.  She also brought in some nuts!

 

The Baylor men play Oklahoma tomorrow. There was something in the paper about Jeff Capel possibly losing his job. That makes me sad. I think that he is a good coach.

 

I loved the quotes attributed in the paper to Pat Knight today. He’s not sad at all about being fired.  He was quoted as saying something to the effect that he is a basketball coach and not a doctor, policeman or firefighter that actually makes the world a better place.

 

Pat, Pat, Pat, you shortsell yourself.  You brighten my existence by your mere presence.  I look forward to seeing you tomorrow evening!

 

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