Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Keep the MVC in St. Louis!

Back in early 2006, there were rumblings that the Missouri Valley Conference was looking for a site on which to build a new headquarters building. Missouri Valley officials had been in talks to purchase the city-owned parking lot at 16th and Spruce, just south of the Scottrade Center, where it would but were unable to agree on a price. The most recent update I've been able to find came in August 2006, from Post-Dispatch sports columnist Bernie Miklasz's weekly "Bernie's Bits" feature:

The St. Louis-based Missouri Valley Conference hopes to soon close a deal with the city to acquire land near Savvis Center that will be developed into new headquarters for the MVC.

In the meantime, other cities, namely Kansas City and Omaha, have made overtures to the Valley in an attempt to lure the conference's highly successful men's basketball tournament to their respective new arenas. The Valley tournament (a.k.a. Arch Madness), has grown in popularity each year as the conference has become a basketball powerhouse. Last year the event set attendance records, drawing more than 22,000 for the final session and 85,000 for the tournament. It brings fans from all over the Midwest to St. Louis for four days, providing a nice economic shot in the arm to local hotels and restaurants during an otherwise slow time of year.

And when you factor in all of the assistance that the Missouri Valley Conference has provided to the St. Louis Sports Commission in helping lure NCAA events such as the 2005 Final Four, the overall impact of the Valley's presence here in St. Louis is huge. The city needs to accommodate the Valley to get the new headquarters building built downtown and keep Arch Madness here in St. Louis for the foreseeable future.

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