Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The NCAA has selected Time Warner Cable Arena and UNC Charlotte as hosts of second and third round games during the 2015 NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Since the uptown arena opened in 2005, it has been the site of both the NCAA men’s regionals (2008) and second- and third-round games (2011). Charlotte last hosted the Atlantic Coast Conference post-season tournament in 2008.
Charlotte, tied for third all-time among host cities with 86 tournament games in its history, will host for the 22nd time in 2015, according to the NCAA. North Carolina leads all states with the most tournament games in history. Raleigh will host for a 15th time in 2014.
The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, a conference made up of historically black colleges and universities, relocated its annual tournament here in 2006, generating the highest tourism impact for the city of any stand-alone sporting events, eclipsing $40 million in recent years.
During the last NCAAs held here, organizers attributed slower advance ticket sales, in part, to the NCAA mandate that all tickets — no matter the location — cost the same price. That policy has since been changed, says Judy Rose, UNC Charlotte athletic director.
Games will be played on March 20 and 22 at the arena.
Johnny Harris, the real estate executive who helped land the 1994 Final Four for Charlotte, says the NCAA knows “they’re going to be treated well here. This is their way of rewarding cities (that have succeeded with the tournament). We’re excited.”
Charlotte has long been a popular home for college tournaments and championships. Next month, the city marks its third year as the site of the ACC football championship. The conference extended its commitment last year through 2013 and the game posted sellouts at 74,000-seat Bank of America Stadium in 2010 and 2011.
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