KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Who would have thought that an exhibition basketball game between two former rivals could raise so much money? Sure Kansas defeated Missouri, 93-87, Sunday afternoon before a sellout crowd of 18,951 in Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, but raising in excess of $1.75 million for recent hurricane victims is what took center stage.
The Showdown for Relief came to fruition on Oct. 13 as an opportunity to raise funds for hurricane relief efforts that have occurred recently in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The game sold out within two days and public tickets were never available.
At halftime a check was presented for $1.75 million which combined tickets sold, a pay-per-view webcast and a text donation contest between the two schools. Officials expected the total contribution to be in excess of the check written when all is said and done.
Money raised from the game will be contributed to the organizations that the five living former U.S. Presidents have come together to support: the Houston Harvey Relief Fund, the Rebuild Texas Fund, the Florida Disaster Fund, Juntos y Unidos Por Puerto Rico and the Fund for the U.S. Virgin Islands. When the game sold out, it was put on a pay-per-view webcast. In the second half it was announced more than 18,000 had subscribed raising $724,480 which went toward the $1.75 million-plus for relief efforts.
“Kudos to both administrations and fan bases for doing something so special,” KU head coach Bill Self said. “That was two teams just going out there and saying let’s throw it up and play. I admit, I had butterflies. I was excited to be out there.”