Join Us As We Tip Off a Bold New Season
New Era Begins Nov. 1 at Municipal Auditorium
New coach. New conference. New arena. And best of all, a whole new attitude.
UMKC men’s basketball is starting a new era in 2013 under new head coach Kareem Richardson. And we’re tipping off in grand style with a special exhibition game Nov. 1 to start the season.
The game starts at 7 p.m., but the fun starts much earlier. Fans will gather at Johnny’s Tavern on Grand Boulevard in the Power and Light District at 4 p.m. for the pre-party. Students get free pizza with student ID, while other fans can enjoy half-price appetizers. At 6:15, the UMKC Cheerleaders will lead a short (four-block) parade from Johnny’s to the newly refurbished, historic Municipal Auditorium for the game against our neighborhood friend and rival, Rockhurst University.
Student tickets for the Rockhurst game, and all upcoming Roo athletic events, are FREE!
The UMKC Union Programming Board is providing a shuttle service that will pick students up from the Student Union at 4:00 p.m. on Friday and take them to Johnny’s Tavern for the pre-game event. A second shuttle will pick students up at 5:30 from the Union and take them directly to Municipal Auditorium. Students will also be given glow in the dark Kangaroo Ears to wear during the blackout, as well as the Blackout t-shirts (while supplies last).
Once inside, fans will enjoy a true Division One college basketball experience, including a new video scoreboard, new seating and lighting, and a new UMKC Pep Band from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. Fans are asked to wear black or dark clothing for a special arena “blackout” prior to the introduction of the team.
UMKC fans are also asked to copy the “Fear the Roo” artwork and use it as their Facebook profile picture on Friday.
Coming off a national championship season as an assistant coach at Louisville last year, Richardson has captured the imagination of the campus, the community, returning players and new recruits.
Richardson accepted the UMKC post in March, and has since signed a five-man recruiting class, solidified his coaching staff and done a whirlwind of public appearances around the Kansas City area.
“The team we put on the floor will be tough, well-disciplined, and high-character men who do it the right way. And we will play an exciting style,” Richardson said. That style will be fast and defense-oriented, he said, featuring multiple full-court-press techniques similar to the Louisville style.
Municipal Auditorium, considered by some as “America’s best arena in which to watch basketball” and site of more NCAA Final Fours than any other arena, is once again the home of UMKC men’s basketball. UMKC men’s basketball will be playing the bulk of its home games at the historic venue in 2013-14, with a new and improved look to the arena. The $5 million renovation includes new video boards, LED scorer’s table, sound system, lighting, seating in the lower level and electrical upgrades.
The team begins play this year in the Western Athletic Conference. The WAC, with a 50-year history of intercollegiate competition, is the sixth-oldest among the nation’s 11 Division I-A conferences. In men’s basketball, the WAC has sent at least two teams to the NCAA Tournament in 24 of the past 29 seasons. The WAC champions in men’s and women’s basketball receive automatic bids to the NCAA tournament.
By making the move, UMKC athletic teams will gain exposure in several new major media markets, including Chicago, Seattle and Phoenix. In addition, players will spend less time traveling, with more trips by air rather than by bus. And UMKC’s agreement with the WAC includes bringing the WAC men’s basketball tournament to Kansas City for two consecutive years.
Other conference members include California State University-Bakersfield, Chicago State University, Grand Canyon University, University of Idaho, New Mexico State University, Seattle University, University of Texas-Pan American and Utah Valley University.