Refreshed & Updated for the 2016 Big XII Men's Basketball Tournament
The match ups are set, the tickets are purchased, and now you have to wait a mere four days before Iowa State takes the court on Thursday night against Oklahoma in the Sprint Center. Most of you will likely head down on Thursday, but don't sleep on the events going on before Iowa State sets to defend their tournament title in the Power & Light District.
Below are the things to do and see in Kansas City, culled from our own experiences and a discussion with Iowa State Kansas City Alumni Association board member Bryan Schmidt.
Tuesday, March 8th
Dark Horse Distillery is this year's host of "Celebrate State in Kansas City". Jeff Johnson and others from the Iowa State Alumni Association will be in attendance to talk all things Iowa State.
When: 6 - 8 PM
Cost: There is no cost but it is requested that you register if you plan on attending.
Update (8:30 PM, March 6th): Registration is now closed for the event.
Wednesday, March 9th
Same drill as last year at a staple in Cyclone lore that needs no introduction.
Kelly's will serve as the official kick off for Cyclone fans coming to Kansas City for the tournament. Happy hour runs from 5 - 8 PM and the sweet crooning sounds of Brian Congdon will entertain the crowd from 5:30-8:30. The two first round games will be on the big TVs, Joe's Pizza will be offering pizza by the slice or the entire pie, and a mug special will feature $5 refills for your 34 ounces of golden goodness.
It's like People's FAC, right on down to that awkward situation with a sorority girl you never called back. Except she's 36 and a mother of three now.
Thursday, March 10th
McFadden's is managed by a Mizzou grad who does not want to see more Kansas fans in the Power & Light District, so he's welcomed the Cyclones with open arms. As long as Iowa State is playing the festivities will kick off three hours prior to tip and involve drink specials, appearances by Alumni Association President Jeff Johnson, the Iowa State Pep Band, and the occasional parent and Cyclone celebrity sighting.
There will also be a brunch special in the event that you wan to put a full day's work in the P&L on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or all three.
Naturally the bar will cater to the fans of all schools, but will gear more and more heavily towards Iowa State as the week progresses.
As if you needed any more incentive to go, but here's the drink list from McFadden's during the 2014 CBE Classic:
(Editor's Note: I literally found this by Googling "Dirty Eustachy")
Tip Off Spirit Rally - 3 - 5:30 PM - Kansas City Convention Center - Room 1501
Depending on advancement, future rallies will be held on the KC Live! stage in the Power & Light District.
Admission is free; however, donations are welcome.
Cash bar with dry snacks available.
Program will include appearances by Cy, Spirit Squad, Pep Band, Jamie Pollard, and Jeff Johnson.
Giveaways while they last and Cy's Locker Room will have items available for sale.
For more information on the associated Cyclone events in Kansas City go to the official Big 12 Basketball Tournament home page on the Iowa State Alumni Association's site.
Friday, March 11th
New this year is a happy hour at the new Up/Down Barcadium in Kansas City. The owner is an Iowa State alumnus and is offering $4 wells and 10 cent tokens to Cyclone fans during happy hour.
When: 12:00 PM - 3 PM
Aside from the tournament, the Big XII will also have their fan zone set up in front of the Sprint Center, so head over to see some family friendly events, play some basketpong, and enjoy the nice weather with some physical activity.
On Saturday, the Annual Big 12 Run will be held at 10 AM and features both 5K and 12K options.
The Snake Saturday parade is on Saturday morning and is a celebration of Irish heritage in North Kansas City.
If you want to combine running and a St Paddy's day celebration then head down to Westport for the St Paddy's day 5K.
Now let's move on to the other Bs besides basketball: Beer and BBQ.
Kansas City's most famous brewery, but also the most popular and hardest to get in to. Daily tours are available and free tickets are handed out when the brewery opens at 10 AM. If you want to get in in a tour it's highly recommended you line up before 9:30 AM and grab tickets to whichever tour best fits your schedule. The basic tour is roughly an hour and a half long and includes a free tasting in their tasting room.
If Boulevard proves to be too inconvenient, here are recommendations from our Kansas City friends.
Iowa State alum Bryce Schaffter is the brainchild behind this brewery north of the Kansas City P&L.
Just down the street from Cinder Block Brewery. Easy one, two punch for beer nuts out there that need to kill some time.
This one is damn near in Overland Park, but if you like German style beers then this is the place for you.
Another haul, but not all that far away from the Kansas City Bier Company. It's like these places know what suits your schedule.
Can't, won't, shouldn't drive? No problem. Flying Saucer features hundreds of beers, with most on tap, right in their convenient location two blocks from the Sprint Center.
Across the street from the Sprint Center in the P&L this bar is the new hangout for Sporting KC fans.
Another new bar in the P&L, this one boasts an extensive list of craft beers. If Flying Saucer is full go the extra block to end up here.
A new brewery within walking distance of the Sprint Center. According the The Googles it's pretty good.
Another new brewery and it's right next to Double Shift, and once again within walking distance of the Sprint Center but without the crowds of the P&L.
Formerly known as Oklahoma Joe's, this is the BBQ place to go if you're visiting Kansas City for the first time. Try the Z Man and have your life altered.
More traditional sit down restaurant than Joe's KC, but Jack Stack does their BBQ about as well as anyone.
Just up the street from Kelly's, so stumble over and have the best brisket outside of Texas.
Even closer to Kelly's than Q39. Guess you're all getting college drunk and fat. Just be sure to bring the Tums.
Another haul away from P&L, but worth checking out if you head south to one of the breweries mentioned above.
Google Maps isn't updated with their new location just north of the P&L, but trust us, it's there. The map above links to the address provided on the Plowboys web site and is within victory stumbling distance of the Sprint Center.
Ever want to gorge on BBQ but not have to go find the places yourself? Then these set of tours might be for you.
Miscellaneous Eating & Drinking
Pan-fried chicken that is the best you'll ever have. Three locations, but go to the Oak Ridge Manor location for the best experience, and be sure to order a Chicken Choker.
One of the best restaurant staples of Memphis, TN now has a location in Kansas City and just happens to be right next door to the OG Oklahoma Joe's. This is a great alternative to Stroud's with more southern flavor.
Just outside of the madness of the P&L this wine bar is offering a discount during the Big 12 Tournament to those who say they are Iowa State alumni.
This replaces the old Maker's Mark restaurant bordering the courtyard inside the P&L.
It has a roof top bar!
Heading out to the breweries near Overland Park? Grab a gourmet burger while you're at it.
Across I-670 from the Sprint Center sits the Cigar Box, the loungiest bar you'll find near the P&L complete with their own throwback lounge singer. Want to class it up with your buddies? Go here.
Go a few blocks north of the Sprint Center and go off the beaten path to the Zoo Bar. A cash only dive bar fit only for the most dedicated drinker.
Want live music? Go here. Pro/con: close to a gentleman's club.
Don't want to spend all that time with the crazies in P&L and need to be a responsible parent? Well here's a list of things that make you look like a good human being.
Go here to spend money you don't have.
Go here to feel guilty for it, and to learn some history.
Go here to learn about the part of baseball no one talks about.
Go here to get a work out in, but be warned, it'll be busy as hell during the Big XII tournament.
Go here for science, movies, and other displays.
Go here for unique shopping experiences and what is said to be the Midwest's largest farmer's market.
Hopefully you've enjoyed our list and be sure to check out everything the Kansas City Alumni Association has to offer. We'll be updating the list periodically over time so be sure to provide your experiences and recommendations below.
Upcoming Kansas City Alumni Association Events
3rd Annual ISUAA - KC Sporting KC Outing
When: Friday, May 27th - 6 PM
Cost: Members: $25, Non-Members: $35, Children Under 3: Free
RSVP Deadline: April 27th
12th Annual ISUAA/IU Golf Tournament
When: Saturday, June 4th, 1:30 PM
Registration Online Soon
4th Annual Cy's Day at the K
When: Saturday, June 18th - Tentative first pitch at 6:30 PM, Tailgate start time TBD
Where: Kauffman Stadium
Cost: $70 - $75 - Includes ticket to the game, tailgate expenses, a t-shirt, and a gift for fathers.