The University of Kansas has not played Wichita State in basketball since 1993. The Shockers were not on the same level competitively, so the in-state rivalry ended. In recent seasons that gap has closed and both teams are currently ranked in both polls and have a Top 50 RPI. Many notable sports writers have been tweeting and writing about the fact that Kansas is the best state for college basketball mentioning both schools (along with K-State).
Wichita now also has the Intrust Arena that seats 15,000 (compared to 10,500 at Koch Arena), the second largest arena in Kansas behind Allen Fieldhouse which seats 16,300. Another option is the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO, which seats 18,900. Scheduling could include a combination of these available venue options.
There is a large population of Jayhawk alumni in the city of Wichita. The Wichita chapter of the Kansas Alumni Association has a membership of more than 9,000. Those members enjoy an annual tailgating event before the KU-WSU baseball game. If there were a Jayhawk basketball game in Wichita, those fans would show up in numbers to support the Jayhawks. There is also a large population in Wichita that would be interested to see Perry Ellis (Heights) and Connor Frankamp (North) return to play a game.
The revenue generated by these games would be beneficial to all sides involved. Those revenues would come from ticket sales, television contracts, and merchandise. As well as revenue, both sides would benefit from playing a top 50 RPI game to add to their resume for seeding in the NCAA tournament.
To: Dr. Sheahon Zenger (Kansas AD), Bill Self (Kansas), Eric Sexton (Wichita State AD), and Gregg Marshall (Wichita State)
We, the fans of college basketball in the state of Kansas, ask to see an annual game between the University of Kansas and Wichita State.
Thank you for your consideration,
Fans of Kansas and Wichita State