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Pitt wants to host ACC tournament in a hockey arena

Sep 15, 2012, 8:52 PM EDT

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The agonies of realignment keep roiling. When the ACC added Boston College to the fold, it seemed strange to see the likes of Duke and Clemson make road trips to Boston. It will be more so with Syracuse and Pitt on the schedule. Imagine how traditionalists will feel when the league tournament is staged north of the Mason-Dixon line.

That day is coming. We don’t know when, but we do know — thanks to David Teel of the Newport News Daily Press — that the first Yankee attempt to commandeer the league’s post-season spectacle has been made.

Teel notes that the ACC tournament has not been played north of Maryland in nearly 60 years of existence. That may change soon, as the city of Pittsburgh has reportedly submitted a bid to host the tournament at Consol Energy Center at some point between 2016-2021.

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?

Teel notes that Greensboro, NC has a lock on the tourney for the next three years. The Greensboro Coliseum is a bit of an odd duck. It’s technically the home arena for the UNCG Spartans, a team that never comes close to filling the venue’s 22,000-plus seats. It’s more frequently used for concerts, NCAA tournament games, and, for some ungodly reason, a stage production of Tyler Perry’s Madea Gets a Job. It’s very central to the Tobacco Road schools that form the heart of the historical ACC, but there’s no telling what the future holds now that the northern carpetbaggers have entered the fray.

  1. dalucks - Sep 16, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    Dear Eric,
    As a resident of Greensboro, let me informed you that Tyler Perry plays are not “ungodly.” The people who operate the Greensboro Coliseum know that those plays , other shows and concerts draw a huge attendance for an arena that does not have a hockey team. Along with having the ACC Hall of fame, Greensboro is the center point of the ACC and every game sells out in Greensboro. The ACC will not stop in Pittsburgh for the ACC tournament when they can go further north to MSG or the Barclays Center in New York. Also, the reason why the ACC tournamnent has not gone further north is because there was not an ACC team north of Maryland plus north of Maryland was Big East country. Maybe if you want some people to see your hockey rink in Pittsburgh, they should have some concerts or call Tyler Perry to schedule his plays before you write another “ungodly” article.

  2. powhound1979 - Sep 16, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    Here here “dalucks”!!! That is truly an ungodly article!!!

  3. AlohaMrHand - Sep 16, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Heck yes have it at Consel Energy ,Not like the Pen will be using it this year

  4. tomtravis76 - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:15 AM

    The new schools need to get a few ACC tourneys under their belt by allowing their fans to experience Greensboro and the atmosphere, they need to see how when it all boils down, all the ACC basketball programs rally together to cheer against Duke. Greensboro is fun, but being realistic the tourney should go on the road , though it should be 2 years Greensboro, 1 year away, 2 years Greensboro and so on.

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