The Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball tournament has wrapped up in St. Louis and SEC tournament action gets underway there on Wednesday. Thousands of fans are expected to stay in local hotels, eat at the many great area restaurants and enjoy the attractions while they are visiting. Tony Paraino with Explore St. Louis – the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission – tells Missourinet the events are expected to bring in about $20 million to the local community.
“That’s on the conservative side. That’s a great investment in our region,” says Paraino. “These are two great tournaments bringing in fans from across the southeast and across the Midwest, great fan bases from both of these conferences.”
St. Louis is hosting its first SEC men’s basketball tournament at the Scottrade Center. All 14 SEC men’s basketball teams will be there, including Mizzou. The Missouri Valley Conference tournament is an event St. Louis has hosted 28 times. Paraino says the Arch City is a great sports town for basketball fans.
“You’ve got obviously Cardinals baseball, you’ve got the St. Louis Blues. But it’s also a great town for amateur sports,” says Paraino. “We have been fortunate to host the NCAA wrestling championships, which bring in great crowds. Obviously the basketball and MVC on an annual basis. Soccer tournaments with kids coming in and volleyball tournaments.”
SEC tournament action begins at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Kansas City is also hosting the men’s Big 12 basketball tournament that tips off Wednesday. Thousands of fans, especially Kansas Jayhawks, are expected there for the games that run through Saturday.