From MVC to AAC: An Insiders’ Perspective

Oct 04, 2017 · Rachel Douglass - Wichita Chamber Director of Engagement

It’s no surprise Wichita State University (WSU) students, fans and donors are excited to be part of the American Athletics Conference (AAC). Projected to have at least three teams in the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, the AAC conference allows WSU to be part of the “Power Six.” Equally as important, by positioning itself with the AAC, Wichita State advantageously aligns itself with high-caliber universities.

Young Professional of Wichita’s (YPW) October 3 Lunch & Learn focused on the move to the AAC and featured Brent Kemnitz, Associate AD/Facilities and Operations; Rege Klitzke, Senior Associate AD/Business Operations; Devon Smith, Manager of Player Development; and Paul Suellentrop, Senior Communicator for Mike Kennedy, voice of the Wichita State Shockers, moderated the session.

The panelists emphasized how Wichita became a highly attractive option for the AAC because WSU fans will travel! The power, strength and loyalty of this community is on par, if not above, any other fan base in the country. From a player perspective, student athletes want to compete against the absolute best and this new league enables WSU to play those tough games in electric atmospheres.

While WSU’s new conference and Intrust Bank Arena’s winning bid to host the first round of 2018 NCAA tournament is likely a coincidence, it undoubtedly elevates the excitement surrounding sports. It also shines light on the tremendous economic impact that sporting events have on our region – which will be the focus of the Chamber’s 2017 Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

The Wichita region has a lot to be proud of when it comes to the athletic arena. From events like the Prairie Fire Marathon and hosting the first round of the 2018 NCAA tournament, to producing Olympians and investing in new athletic infrastructure, we have earned the right to call ourselves a “sports town.”

Please consider joining us for our 2017 Annual Meeting on Nov. 7. You can find out more information here, including the price for discounted YPW member tickets.

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