April 9, 2009
Spartanburg, S.C. - The Southern Conference announced today (April 9) that the league's postseason basketball tournaments will be held in Charlotte, N.C., in 2010. The event was originally planned to be held in Chattanooga, Tenn., site of the 2009 tournament. As part of the agreement to switch sites, the league's postseason tournament will be held in Chattanooga in 2011.
"We think this is a step that will help insure the future growth of our basketball tournament," said Commissioner John Iamarino. "The SoCon has not held a tournament in Charlotte since 1971 and we think it's a market that has tremendous potential for us. We appreciate the cooperation of our friends at the Greater Chattanooga Sports & Events Committee who were willing to work with us to accommodate this arrangement. This decision is not a negative response to our recent experience in Chattanooga. On the contrary, the tournament has had some of its best financial outcomes and has been run extremely well in Chattanooga and we're pleased to be returning in 2011."
The move to Charlotte was aimed at reducing travel costs for the majority of the conference's institutions during a time when all collegiate athletic departments are facing budgetary constraints. The Chattanooga Sports & Events Committee was agreeable to the switch in exchange for a reduced financial guarantee to the conference in 2011.
"We are thrilled with the opportunity to host the tournaments next year and are looking forward to hosting the conference, its schools and fans in Charlotte next March," said Mike Crum Chief Executive Officer of the Charlotte Regional Visitor's Authority.
The 2010 tournaments for men and women will take place March 4-8, 2010 in Charlotte. The first three days of the tournament will be held at Bojangles Coliseum, while the semifinals and finals will take place at Time Warner Cable Arena, home to the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats.
"The Southern Conference has been a great partner of ours and we were willing to trade years to allow them this opportunity," said Scott Smith, President of the Greater Chattanooga Sports & Events Committee. "We look forward to having them back in 2011."
The 2010 tournament will mark the 89th year for the post-season classic, the longest running conference tournament in the nation.