CAA Press Release
CHARLESTON, S.C. (January 28, 2016) - The Colonial Athletic Association has reached an Agreement with the Charleston Area Sports Commission, North Charleston Coliseum and the College of Charleston to conduct the 2017, 2018 and 2019 CAA Men's Basketball Championships at the Coliseum.
"We are excited to bring the CAA Men's Basketball Championship and the thrill of March Madness to Charleston," CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager said. "Charleston has long been considered one of top tourist destinations in the United States. Our fans will enjoy a variety of activities and the outstanding hospitality of the Lowcountry along with some terrific college basketball."
Known for rich history, well-preserved architecture, a celebrated restaurant community and mannerly people, the Charleston area has been recognized as a world-class top travel destination by a number of publications, including Condè Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure. Most recently, it was recognized as the No. 1 Small U.S. City by Condè Nast Traveler 2015 Readers' Choice Awards.
The CAA Men's Basketball Championship has been held at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Md. since 2014 and the conference concludes its three-year agreement this March. The conference opened a RFP process last fall to solicit regions and venues for championships in 2017 and beyond. The Charleston group's proposal was supported unanimously by the CAA's Athletic Directors.
"We've had a great run in Baltimore and it has been an opportunity to showcase exciting CAA basketball in a new market," Yeager said. "We thank the fans, the city of Baltimore, its business community and Royal Farms Arena for their support."
The North Charleston Coliseum seats 11,000 for basketball and has recently invested over $21 million dollars in enhancements. The multi-purpose complex is located within two miles of the Charleston International Airport and 10 miles from the historic district of Charleston.
The first CAA Men's Basketball Championship in Charleston will be held March 3-6, 2017. Future tournament dates are March 2-5, 2018 and March 8-11, 2019. All nine games of the championship will be televised and distributed through the league's broadcast partners on a national and regional basis.
CAA teams have combined to win 43 games in postseason play since 2006, including 14 victories in the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. During that 10-year period, the CAA has had two teams reach the NCAA Final Four (George Mason – 2006, VCU – 2011), one reach the semifinals of the NIT and has had squads capture championships of the CBI and CIT. Showing its overall quality and depth, all 10 current CAA members have competed in postseason play over the past four years.
Members of the CAA include the College of Charleston (Charleston, S.C.), the University of Delaware (Newark, Del.), Drexel University (Philadelphia, Pa.), Elon University (Elon, N.C.), Hofstra University (Hempstead, N.Y.), James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.), the University of North Carolina Wilmington (Wilmington, N.C.), Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.), Towson University (Towson, Md.) and the College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, Va.).
Comments on the CAA Men's Basketball Championship moving to Charleston
Keith Summey, Mayor of North Charleston:
The City of North Charleston extends a warm welcome to the Colonial Athletic Association and looks forward to hosting the Conference's Basketball Tournament beginning in 2017. Our region is excited to host the tournament for 3 years. This announcement provides the opportunity to showcase our southern hospitality to all the teams of the Colonial Athletic Association. We know they will enjoy the Lowcountry and their fans will have a great experience.
Dan Blumenstock, Chairman of the Board for the Charleston Area Convention & Visitor Bureau:
We embrace the opportunity to host the Colonial Athletic Association basketball tournament for 3 years beginning in 2017 and work with the community at large in providing a world class experience to the teams, fans, alumni and supporters as we consider it an honor and privilege to be chosen as the host destination.
Joe Hull, Director of Athletics at the College of Charleston: