Las Vegas is becoming a hot spot in the western hemisphere for college basketball tournaments.
Sin City is hosting five tournaments this year, including the West Coast Conference, Mountain West Conference and WAC tourneys, and one of those stays was extended on Monday with the WCC signing a three-year deal with Orleans Arena.
The news comes via a press release from the league office.
The contract binds the arena and the conference until 2016.
The signing is a good one for all involved. There’s no WCC team in Las Vegas or Nevada, but it’s a popular spot (obviously) with everything it offers out-of-towners. Well, except for BYU fans (kidding!).
“I am very pleased that the West Coast Conference and The Orleans Arena have agreed to extend our partnership for the next three years,” said Jamie Zaninovich, Commissioner of the West Coast Conference. “Thanks in large part to the efforts of The Orleans management and staff, our men’s and women’s basketball championships have been an overwhelming success since we brought the event to Las Vegas five years ago. We look forward to improving upon the experience for our student-athletes, coaches and fans with this contract extension.”
It’s also a deal that comes with the conference in a bit of a state of flux. Starting in 2014, the men’s and women’s tournaments will feature 10-team brackets. The 7-10 seeds will play on Day 1, with the two winners playing in the quarterfinals the next day with the six highest seeds.
The contract also includes the annual inductions into the WCC Hall of Honor and Kids Day festivities.
Can’t fault a conference for keeping itself stable in anything at this point, with the way conference realignment has been going. Good to see the WCC values the ambiance Las Vegas brings and will stick with the city for a few years to come.
Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten