Missouri Valley votes to keep league tourney in St. Louis

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

Wichita State won its first MVC tourney title under Gregg Marshall in March. (USATSI)

Outside of the old Big East's arrangement with Madison Square Garden, no conference tournament has a better marriage with a city and a venue like the Missouri Valley's bracket every year at St. Louis' Scottrade Center.

The league has played its conference tournament in St. Louis for the past 12 seasons, and it's become the event that essentially kicks off conference tourney play. The MVC's title game comes a full week before Selection Sunday.

St. Louis serves as a crossroads and terrifically located spot for fans of the teams involved, and this past spring saw no diminishing returns. Despite Wichita State's dominance in the league -- or perhaps because of it -- the MVC continued to show itself well at Scottrade. Once again, total attendance for the event cracked 50,000.

And the conference has announced that St. Louis will continue to host the league tournament through 2018, meaning the name "Arch Madness" will still be in effect.

Kansas City, Chicago, Indianapolis and Las Vegas (which has become a hotbed for many conference tournaments, but wouldn't have been a fit here) were in contention to win away future hosting duties. But tried and true, St. Louis came through. It will host March 3-6, 2016; March 2-5, 2017; and March 1-4, 2018. There is an option in the deal to renew for St. Louis in 2019 and 2020 as well.

"This was an important decision for our conference, and we are excited to be able to continue the remarkable run that our tournament has enjoyed in this neutral city," league commissioner Doug Elgin said. "We are indebted to Scottrade Center, the St. Louis Sports Commission, the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission and all of our partners in St. Louis who have made it possible for us to grow Arch Madness in a first-class fashion."

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