UMKC’s basketball program is entering a new era.
They’ve hired a new head coach, former Louisville assistant Kareem Richardson, whom they hope will turn around the trend of five losing seasons in their last six years. They’re heading into the WAC after spending the last six years in the Summit League.
And now the school will be getting a $5 million renovation to the famed Municipal Auditorium.
“We are extremely delighted to have the majority of our home games at Municipal,” Richardson said in a release put out by the school. “The improvements that will take place there will certainly enhance the fan experience. We are confident with the support of the community that we can make Municipal Auditorium the best home court advantage in Western Athletic Conference.”
The renovation includes new video boards that are 47 feet wide and 12 ½ feet tall, an LED scorer’s table display that is 40 feet long, sound system, lighting, seating in the lower level and electrical upgrades.
“UMKC is Kansas City’s university, and we want the ‘Roos to be Kansas City’s team. That’s true for all sports, but particularly basketball, given our community’s historic ties to and love for college basketball,” said Leo E. Morton, UMKC chancellor. “That’s why we’re making the big move downtown, and making a big move to capture the community’s imagination and passion with a new coach and a new conference.”
Municipal Auditorium, which opened in 1936, hosted three of the first four Final Fours and was passed this season by Dayton Arena as the venue that has held the most NCAA tournament games.