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Earlier this week, the ACC announced the locations of the ACC basketball tournament for the years 2011-2015. The conference recently came under some scrutiny when it decided to hold the 2007 ACC tournament in Tampa Florida, and it appears that the league office has answered those criticisms with the 2011-2015 announcement.
In 2011, the tournament will be back in Greensboro, the logical choice. Greensboro is the headquarters of the ACC, and within short driving distance of the four North Carolina schools, as well as Virginia and Virginia Tech. In 2012, the tournament will head to Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, which can seat up to 40,000 fans for basketball events.
The tournament will return to Greensboro in 2013-15. The ACC has the option to opt out of one of the events from 2013-15 and award it to another city. If that happens, then the tournament would return to Greensboro in 2016.
ACC tournament sites for the years 2007-10 were decided on a previous date. The tournament will head to Tampa in 2007 to try to tap into the expanded south Florida market, and then it will head back to the state of North Carolina in 2008 at the Charlotte Coliseum. The tournament will be in Atlanta in 2009 and Greensboro in 2010. Here's the list of 2007-2015 sites:
While the city of Greensboro is highly pleased by the recent decisions, the city of Charlotte is another matter. The Queen City, a longtime supporter of ACC athletics, is not currently scheduled to host an ACC tournament after the year 2008 To make up for this, the city will receive strong consideration to host a future ACC Championship Game in football.
Charlotte is the logical choice for that game. Bank of America stadium serves as the home of the Carolina Panthers, and it sits right in the middle of the ACC country. While none of the North Carolina schools are likely to make the ACC Championship Game, it would help booster college football awareness in a state that is still basketball centric.
A major factor in determining site locations for future ACC basketball tournaments was arena size. Modern sports is about maximizing revenue, and the tournament will sell out if it is in the state of North Carolina. If this is the case, the logical choice is Greensboro. The Greensboro Coliseum seats 23,000 people, while the new Charlotte Bobcats Arena seats just 19,000.
Meanwhile, the Georgia Dome in Atlanta can hold 40,000 fans for basketball games. They aren’t likely to sell that many seats, but the vast majority of the seats will be spoken for.
When Charlotte built the new Charlotte Bobcats Arena, it was a mistake to only build 19,000 seats. The old Charlotte Coliseum sat 23,000 people, and with that many seats the city would be much more likely to land a future ACC tournament. It also hurts the city’s chances of hosting NCAA tournament games.
In news that made less of a splash in the media, the ACC also announced future sites for the conference baseball tournament. The tournament was played in Jacksonville in 2005 and is there again this season. The recent announcement from the ACC stated that the tournament would return to Jacksonville in 2007 and 2008 and will be held in Boston’s Fenway Park in 2009.
In was somewhat surprising that the 2007 and 2008 events did not end up in Tampa. New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, a recent contributor to the UNC baseball program, has taken a keen interest in the tournament. The Yankees’ spring training and minor league headquarters are located in Tampa, and Steinbrenner reportedly offered the ACC a substantial financial guarantee to hold the event in Tampa at the team’s facilities.
That information was reported in the Greensboro News-Record on May 15. It stated that Steinbrenner offered substantially more than the $75,000 offered by Greensboro, and the margin between the current amount being paid by Jacksonville was even larger. What happened between May 15 and May 17, the day the sites were announced, is not clear. But The Boss didn’t get things his way.
In a further slap in the face to
Steinbrenner, the 2009 baseball tournament will be held in Boston’s Fenway
Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, the arch-rivals of the New York Yankees.
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