C-USA Basketball Tourneys Head to Cowboys' Complex

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The Virginian - Pilot (Norfolk, VA.)


Conference USA officials will announce today that the men's and women's basketball tournaments will be held at the Dallas Cowboys' training complex in Frisco, Texas, next season.

The Denton (Texas) Record Chronicle reported Monday that the tournament will be played at the Ford Center, a 12,000-seat indoor facility owned by the Cowboys.

League officials, including commissioner Judy MacLeod, will hold a news conference at the Cowboys complex to announce the move. C-USA is headquartered in the Dallas suburb of Irving.

Related: Conference USA Eyes Cowboys' Facility for Hoops Tourney

The tournament is moving from Birmingham, Ala., which is a more central site than Frisco, but which drew poorly the last two seasons after Alabama-Birmingham, the home team, lost in early rounds.

Located just north of Dallas and its large hub airport, Frisco is more accessible than Birmingham and offers a venue that can host the men's and women's games. A host city generally must have two arenas to host early round men's and women's games at the same time, but the Ford Center can be set up to use two courts .

El Paso, Texas, and Birmingham also bid to host the tournament.

Old Dominion considered bidding for the tournament in past years, but the absence of a second available arena in Hampton Roads prevented it from doing so. ODU has perhaps the league's best venue in the 8,600-seat Constant Center, but Scope - the only other nearby arena capable of hosting games - is occupied with the MEAC tournament.

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Gil Brandt, the former Cowboys vice president of player personnel and a sportscaster for the NFL Network, Tweeted that C-USA's decision is a "smart move."

C-USA officials said they expected to announce the tournament site before league meetings May 22-24. It isn't known how long the tournament will be played in Frisco, but it could be up to three seasons.

Known as The Star, the Cowboys training complex is spread across 91 acres in an area with upscale hotels and restaurants that draws millions of tourists each year.

ODU has yet to win a league tournament in four seasons. The men's and women's teams reached the 2016 finals - both lost to Middle Tennessee

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May 16, 2017


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