Could the Charlotte 49ers be in the running to host the Conference USA basketball tournament in the future?
According to Patrick McGee from the Sun-Herald in Biloxi, MS, that’s a possibility. Charlotte, along with Nashville (previously announced as a potential site), has been mentioned as one of the cities that could host the event:
C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky recently said that Charlotte is a likely future destination for the league tournament.
Nashville was once considered a likely tournament site until the SEC set a deal that will allow the city to host its tournament nine times from 2015-2025.
Charlotte makes a lot of sense as a tournament site with a large media market and a nice on-campus basketball arena that holds a little over 9,000.
El Paso, which hosts this season, will likely stay in the rotation for years to come.
Halton Arena could be a possible site, but the relative lack of hotel rooms in the immediate area, as well as the big one–parking, especially during peak class times–may be an issue. There are two options closer to uptown: Time Warner Cable Arena, which seats over 20,000, might be a likely scenario, but could be a little too big (Don Haskins Center in El Paso seats just over 12,000). Bojangles Coliseum, who lacks a major tenant and holds a fair amount of spectators (9,605, around the amount Halton holds), would be a third potential site. Charlotte’s airport and relative accessibility would be major plusses toward having the tournament here.
An announcement of any sort would likely come at or around the time of the C-USA spring meetings next April or May. Charlotte, of course, hosted the Conference USA men’s soccer tournament this year and the A-10 men’s soccer and basketball tournaments last season, but this will obviously be a different breed.