Athletic Directors from across the Conference USA heard four different pitches for the 2015 C-USA Basketball Tournament host on Monday, and in less than 24 hours voted UAB, and the city of Birmingham, Alabama to be the site of the net cut downs.
UAB beat out a trifecta attempt from Bobby Stull and UTEP, a Bossier City, LA site try from La. Tech, and also Southern Miss. put their name in the mix proposing an on campus and Biloxi, Mississippi bid.
Tournament dates are March 11th thorough the 14th, with all Men's games played at the 19,000 seat Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC Arena), while the Women will play at Bartow Arena until they join the Men in the semi-finals at BJCC Arena.
UAB Athletic Director Brian Mackin had this to say to Drew Champlin from The Birmingham News:
"My comments to the athletic directors as a summary of our presentation was the positiveness of the city of Birmingham, the experience of hosting events, location of Birmingham and the access to our airport. Add in facilities and the fact that geographically, six of our Conference USA teams would be able to drive to our event and our fans would come, which would increase the student-athlete experience."
Central location for the ever central-east regional expanding C-USA, and the pristine Westin Hotel Birmingham that sits in the middle of an entertainment district, literally seconds away from the arena was a very strong pitch from the good folks at UAB.
As disappointing and homerish it is to say "damn wish we could have it back every year", having it rotate every year is healthy and good for the league, though a neutral big city site and better TV deal for the tournament should be the ultimate goal.
El Paso took in an estimated $4.5 million and easily surpassed the minimum league guarantee, bringing in $1.1 million on ticket sales during the 2014 tournament.
Although now a good chunk of the league is now within a reasonable driving/flying distance, thus obviously Birmingham will see a bigger economic impact boom next year due to a maybe doubled fan attendance from 2014.
Road trip next March anyone?