Friday, March 14, 2008

Back in Charlotte for 2015? Maybe

The official list of future ACC tournament sites is set through 2015 with Charlotte's name nowhere on the list.

But there's a least a chance that could change.

Not a great chance. But a chance.

The tournament goes to Atlanta next year, to Greensboro the two years after that, back to Atlanta in 2012 and then back to Greensboro 2013 through 2015.

There is, however, a provision in the contract with Greensboro that allows for the tournament to be moved somewhere else in 2015 with Greensboro getting it back in 2016.

That's where Charlotte might -- emphasis on the word might -- have a shot at getting the tournament back despite having only 20,035 seats in Bobcats Arena.

"An unofficial interest in having us back is definitely there," ACC commissioner John Swofford said Friday afternoon.

"There's a great energy here. It's a different experience in Charlotte than ever before because of the facility and all the hotels."

The tournament is just two days old so it's too early to determine the level of its success in Charlotte. Swofford acknowledged the scarcity of tickets is a problem for schools and it's an issue that can't be ignored.

However, there will be more than 40,000 tickets available in Atlanta next year and the 23,500-seat set-up in Greensboro is close to ideal, Swofford said.

He added, however, that part of the ACC tournament's mystique is the relative difficulty of getting tickets. The league doesn't want to lose that, Swofford said.

In Charlotte, that mystique could be alive and well.