By David Teel
12:19 PM EDT, September 14, 2012
Approaching its 60th edition, the ACC basketball tournament has never been staged north of Landover, Md. But with a future alignment that includes Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Notre Dame, plus current member Boston College, might that change?
Bids for the 2016-21 tournaments closed last month, and at least one Northeast venue wants in: Pittsburgh.
Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson and basketball coach Jamie Dixon told me the city’s Consol Energy Center submitted a bid. Home to the NHL’s Penguins, the arena opened in 2010 and last season hosted second- and third-round NCAA basketball tournament games. College hockey’s championship weekend, the Frozen Four, is scheduled at Consol for 2013.
“We’d sure love to have it here,” Pederson said. “Pittsburgh’s proven it can do great things. The NCAA tournament sold out here in a short period of time. The city gets behind it. One of the things that’s great is you can stay downtown and walk to the games. … And thanks in large part to what Jamie’s done, people here are enthusiastic.”
Dixon has coached the Panthers to eight NCAA tournaments in nine seasons. He knows prying the ACC's signature event from its traditional base will be difficult, but hey, the league took the tournament to Tampa, Fla., in 2007, so why not the Northeast?
Pittsburgh’s competition will include southern staples such as Greensboro, N.C., Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta. The event is booked for Greensboro, home to the conference office, for the next three years.
ACC officials declined to identify other bidding cities. They will discuss the options at next month's fall meeting in Boston.
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