SBD/September 18, 2012/Colleges

Sun Belt Weighing Options For Relocating Conference's HQs; Memphis In Consideration

Memphis is “one of several cities where the Sun Belt Conference could relocate its men's and women's basketball tournaments, as well as its league offices, as early as 2015,” according to Marlon Morgan of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson yesterday said talks are “very, very preliminary.“ He added that he "has not had conversations with anyone in Memphis.” But Benson said that the city is “attractive to the league.” Morgan notes other cities “under consideration include Atlanta, Nashville, Birmingham, Orlando and the league's current home of New Orleans.” Benson said, “We’re just starting the process.” He added that with the Sun Belt stretching from Texas to Florida, Memphis' location "is a plus.” Benson also “likes the idea of having the league offices in the same city as the tournaments.” Morgan notes the Sun Belt has “held its basketball tournaments at the 6,200-seat Summit Arena” in Hot Springs, Ark., since ‘09 and is contracted there through the '13-14 season. Following the ‘13 tournament, Hot Springs has a 30-day "exclusive window to negotiate with the Sun Belt for future tournaments.” Benson said that “no decision will be made before the league goes through its negotiations with Hot Springs” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 9/18).
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