The Big South has opened up a bidding process for the 2013 basketball conference tournament until April 15. But the real question is, where should the tournament be? Both schools and neutral sites are allowed to bid and it’ll be interesting see who wins. Here is a list of some potential candidates.
Roanoke/Salem Area: The Roanoke Civic was last neutral site to hold the tournament in 2002. Roanoke is obviously in close proximity to VMI, Liberty, Longwood, and Radford but the facility is a dump. Built in 1969 the Civic Center can hold about 9,000 basketball fans. The Salem Civic Center is also dated but is a little nicer, and can hold about 6,000-7,000 fans. The facility currently host the ODAC tournament and the NCAA D3 Championship.
Raleigh/Durham Area: The “research triangle” region of North Carolina would be ideal for the tournament. The event could take place at an ACC venue like the RBC Center or Lawrence Joel Veterans Coliseum. Both hold over 10,000 people. The only downside is due to ACC play the tournament would have to be pushed back a week, which is not ideal for several reason.
Myrtle Beach Convention Center: The last time the CAA put their tournament up for bid Myrtle Beach was heavily involved. The location is really only convenient for Coastal Carolina and Charleston Southern, but hey… are you really going to complain about a March trip to Myrtle Beach? The Convention Center can hold 8,000 fans, which is the ideal size for this tournament. More fans from across the conference may be willing to travel to an area like Myrtle Beach also.
North Charleston Coliseum: The 11,500 seat arena hosted the tournament in the early 90s. Its a decent facility and could be another “vacation” draw, but Charleston is obviously at the end of the Big South geographic spectrum.
Charlotte Area: Either the Time Warner Center or the old Coliseum could be nice venues for the tournament.
Asheville: Asheville is hosting the Southern Conference tournament this year with both the 7,500 seat Civic Center and the brand new 3,400 seat Kimmel Center on the campus of UNCA.