The women’s basketball tournament of the National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics returns to Kansas City in 1986 after being held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the past two seasons.
Harry Fritz, NAIA executive director, said that the 16-team women’s tournament opens March 14-15 at the Bartle Hall Complex. It will switch to Kemper Arena for the semifinals and finals March 17-18, as part of a package with the men’s tournament.
The 32-team men’s tournament will be played entirely at Kemper, March 12-15 and 17-18.
The first three NAIA women’s tournaments were eight-team events held at Kemper in conjunction with the men’s tournament. The women’s tournament moved to Cedar Rapids in 1984 and expanded to 16 teams, but officials decided to move it because of poor attendance and loss of sponsorship by the Jaycees.
“We had a strong bid from Plainview, Tex., for the tournament and other expressions of interest,” said Fritz. “But it came down to making a decision in October and we didn’t have time to work with a new area in getting the tournament set up.”
He said the NAIA has reached an agreement with the city for the use of Bartle Hall, although contracts haven’t yet been signed.
“We wanted to hold the tournament in the downtown area but Municipal Auditorium wasn’t available,” Fritz said. “The Auditorium floor and the baskets can be set up in Bartle Hall along with seating for about 3,000 people.”