Washington – In a strange twist of fate and two years after Maryland is scheduled to depart the Atlantic Coast Conference for the Big Ten Conference, the 2016 ACC basketball tournament will be held at the Verizon Center, conference commissioner John Swofford announced Wednesday.
“We are excited to bring the ACC Tournament back to the nation’s capital in 2016,” Swofford said. “Verizon Center is a tremendous showcase for our event, and the Washington, D.C. area is an appealing tourist destination for our member institutions, as well as the alumni and fans of our teams. We received a lot of positive feedback after our 2005 Tournament in Washington, and we look forward to duplicating that success in 2016.”
The 20,000-seat Verizon Center previously hosted the 2005 ACC Tournament. The Washington metropolitan area also welcomed the ACC in 1976, 1981 and 1987, when the tournament was held at the Capital Centre in Landover, Md. The 14-game 2016 tournament will open Wednesday, March 9 and continue through Sunday, March 13.
“Verizon Center is thrilled to once again host the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Washington D.C.,” said David Touhey, Verizon Center SVP & General Manager. “The nation’s capital serves as the perfect site for the championship tournament of such a prestigious conference. We thank the ACC for selecting us and look forward to hosting another successful tournament in March 2016.”
Located in the heart of downtown Washington, D.C., Verizon Center serves as home to the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and the NCAA’s Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team.
The arena has hosted a multitude of high-profile events in its history, ranging from the 1998 Stanley Cup Final to the NBA (2001) and WNBA (2002, 2007) All-Star games to the 2003 World Figure Skating Championship, the 2005 ACC Tournament, the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament (1998, 2002, 2008) as well as the second and third rounds (2011), the Washington Regional Round (2006, 2013) and the 2009 NCAA Frozen Four men’s hockey championship.
Verizon Center also hosts a variety of concerts and family shows ranging from all-time greats to current-day chart-topping artists. In the 15 year history of the arena some of the artists who have mastered the stage include: U2, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Coldplay, The Three Tenors, Barbra Streisand, Bon Jovi, Prince, Beyonce, the Dalai Lama, Tina Turner, Keith Urban, Disney on Ice and WWE.
Amenities within the arena include 106 luxury suites, a high-definition center-hung scoreboard, an indoor basketball practice facility and 10 dressing rooms. The arena offers a variety of concession stands and restaurants, including kosher, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
The ACC Tournament has been held in seven different cities and 11 venues since the inaugural event in March of 1954. The Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum is set to serve as host in 2014 and 2015.