The Southern Conference announced Thursday (June 3) that Asheville, N.C., has been awarded the league’s men’s and women’s basketball tournament for 2012, 2013 and 2014. The tournament site was selected by the league’s athletic directors as part of the conference’s annual Spring Meetings held this week (June 1-3). The 2012 tournament will mark a return to Asheville, site of the men’s basketball tournament from 1984-95.
The conference entertained proposals from six different cities Wednesday afternoon: Charleston, S.C., Charlotte, N.C., Chattanooga, Tenn., Greenville, S.C., and Winston-Salem, N.C.
“We’re thrilled to be returning to Asheville, a site where the Southern Conference enjoyed some of its most exciting basketball championships,” said Southern Conference Commissioner John Iamarino. “The City of Asheville clearly demonstrated its enthusiasm and commitment to hosting the tournament in its presentation to the membership. We had six outstanding choices available, which illustrates the growing prestige of this event.”
The 2012 men’s tournament will be played in Asheville’s Civic Center while the women’s tournament will begin at UNC Asheville’s Kimmel Arena. The women’s tournament semifinals and championship game will be played at the Civic Center. As part of the city’s bid, the local organizing committee has pledged $3.2 million in capital improvements to the 6,300-seat arena which will be completed prior to the 2012 tournament.