Since the first ACC men’s basketball tournament was first held in 1954, 49 times the conference has determined its official champion in the State of North Carolina. On Wednesday afternoon the conference announced that it will play the 2016 version of the event at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The move will come after playing the 2014 and 2015 versions in Greensboro, which has hosted the ACC tournament 24 times.
“We are excited to bring the ACC Tournament back to the nation’s capital in 2016,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said in the release. “Verizon Center is a tremendous showcase for our event, and the Washington, D.C. area is an appealing tourist destination for our member institutions, as well as the alumni and fans of our teams.
“We received a lot of positive feedback after our 2005 Tournament in Washington, and we look forward to duplicating that success in 2016.”
With an expanded footprint that now includes Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and (in 2014) Louisville, moving up the eastern seaboard isn’t a bad idea. This won’t be an unfamiliar environment for the newcomers either, as Georgetown calls the building home.
With the shift north, will the conference eventually get to hold its showcase event in the New York metropolitan area? That remains to be seen, and while there’s certainly the benefit of playing in the New York media market people will find a way to watch (and cover) the ACC tournament regardless of where it’s played.
One other question that some may be asking: was the move to D.C. a sneaky jab at Maryland, which is moving to the Big Ten and is about a half-hour drive from the nation’s capital?