UMKC Men’s Basketball moving home games to Swinney Recreation Center

Lucas Cuni-Mertz

Robert Zimmerman


UMKC Men’s Basketball is moving back home this season.

In a letter to students and staff, Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal announced the team’s return from Municipal Auditorium to Swinney Recreation Center beginning Jan. 1, 2019.

“This move is in keeping with our overall effort to create a culture of belonging here at UMKC,” Agrawal said. “Bringing our men’s basketball games back to campus is one more way we can generate an engaging experience for our students and our whole university community.”

The Roos will play the first five games of the season downtown at Municipal Auditorium before returning to Swinney.

“Swinney is more accessible to the majority of our student fan base, and should give us a stronger home court advantage,” Agrawal said.

The men’s team moved to Municipal Auditorium in 2013 but game attendance suffered averaging 1,500 fans per game in the 10,000-seat venue.

A Swinney hosted game between UMKC and Green Bay during the 2017 College Basketball Invitational postseason tournament saw one of the greatest fan turnouts in recent years.

UMKC expects the move to Swinney to replicate the energized crowd and atmosphere from last year’s matchup.

“Students should remember that they get in free to the games with their student ID and they should be excited because it is their campus,” said UMKC Interim Athletics Director Ursula Gurney.

Administrators were not the only ones excited about the change. Brandon Shuey, senior and president of RooNation, UMKC’s new student spirit group, noted the positive effects.

“This is a huge step to foster and promote school spirit,” said Shuey in a UMKC press release. “To have games located on campus is an amazing opportunity and will allow the bulk of students a greater chance to attend games and participate.”

Associate Athletics Director Jessica Dickson recognizes that being a Kansas City-based sports team has its hurdles, and the thinks the move will help the team meet expectations.

“We aren’t at the level of competitiveness that Kansas City expects for their teams, but moving the men’s team back to campus will create an environment and help us create a more competitive team,” said Dickson.

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