Sunday, October 25, 2009

ACC Tournament downsized in 2012

GREENSBORO -- The ACC Tournament set attendance records in its last two visits to Atlanta, but at the occasional expense of early round atmosphere in the cavernous spaces of the Georgia Dome.

Sunday, the ACC announced that in the tournament's next trip to Atlanta, in 2012, the event will be held at Philips Arena, where the NBA Hawks and NHL Thrashers play, instead of the Georgia Dome.

ACC commissioner John Swofford said the league decided to move to the smaller venue, which will seat about 20,000 fans for the tournament, "to protect the tournament's brand and atmosphere."

"This was a visceral kind of decision collectively with our schools and our staff," Swofford said. "We thought this was the right place to be in Atlanta for the future."

The 2001 tournament at the Georgia Dome set a conference-tournament record with 182,525 total fans and an average of 36,505 per session. Last March, the numbers were down to 158,112 total and 26,352 per session -- still the second-most in NCAA history, but the crowds were swallowed up by the dome's open spaces.

"With 40,000 people in there, it was pretty phenomenal," ACC associate commissioner Karl Hicks said. "The ADs thought, 'If we can't get that many people in the dome, what's in the best interest of the league?' "

The Georgia Dome already had been announced as the host site for 2012, but the league never had a contract with the venue, Hicks said.

The ACC Tournament was held at The Omni, Atlanta's old basketball arena, in 1983, 1985 and 1989 before moving to the dome. After visiting four other cities over the past five years, the 2012 tournament is the only one in the next six years that will be held somewhere other than Greensboro.

Originally, the 2015 tournament had been a possibility for somewhere other than Greensboro, but that site has been confirmed. Hicks said the league would likely consider sites for 2016 and beyond after the 2012 tournament in Atlanta.

-- Luke DeCock


Hovdaddy said...

It should be in Greensboro every year, period. It has the history, it's the home of the conference and the geographic center of the East Coast.

Anonymous said...

So does this mean Charlotte will get the tournament again? Phillips Arena seats about as many for college basketball as the arena in Uptown. And the Greensboro Coliseum is not that much bigger. I thought the reason Charlotte wasn't getting the tournament anymore was because the ACC wanted to go to larger venues like the Georgia Dome.

Anonymous said...

Greensboro and Charlotte have all the Tarhole homers. Why not play the games there as opposed to a neutral site??

MichaelProcton said...

Brilliant. If you're not going to play in Greensboro every year (as the conference absolutely should), at least keep the tourney in, you know, BASKETBALL arenas. Crazy idea, huh?

Anonymous said...

should be in greensboro or charlotte every year, but greensboro is the rightful place