The University of Texas at El Paso has confirmed that they will be hosting both the men's and women's Conference USA basketball tournaments in the 2013-14 season. There were talks of UTEP possibly hosting the tournament as soon as 2012-13, but those tourneys will go to the University of Tulsa.
Today, Conference USA and their board of officials confirmed UTEP as the site for the 2014 tournament, and it's a great thing, as that will coincide with the 100 year anniversary for the school. UTEP also hosted these same tournaments back in 2011, and those events created an economic impact of $3.5M for the city, to go along with priceless exposure and promotion on networks like CBS and CBS Sports.UTEP Athletics Director Bob Stull had this to say about the school hosting the tournaments:
Per UTEP Athletics:
"It’s terrific news for UTEP and the El Paso community...So many people banded together to produce a first-class event in 2011 – the city, the county, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Sports Commission and all of our volunteers, particularly from the Sun Bowl Association. We’re looking forward to staging another great championship in 2014."
Bill Blaziek, El Paso Convention and Visitor's Bureau General Manager, said "It's another tremendous event for our community to celebrate...The 2011 tournament was probably one of the best that Conference USA has ever enjoyed, exceeding all expectations in terms of attendance and revenue."
And Blaziek is exactly right. 2011 was a tremendous success, and we should only build on that with the 2014 tournament. The conference granting UTEP the ability to host their conference basketball tournaments, again, is a testament to first class facilities, people, and city that we have here. It is now our duty to ensure that this tournament is an even bigger success than 2011, so the Miners can be hosts to many more events like this one in the future.
As mentioned, the 2013 tournaments will be held in Tulsa, OK. The University of Memphis was originally slated to host the events, but after their announced departure to the Big East conference, C-USA stripped them of any such privileges.