SBD/February 12, 2014/Events and Attractions

Georgia Schools Eye Men's Basketball Tourney To Help Raise December Attendance

Scheduling is one of the issues currently standing in the way of the tournament
Officials at Georgia, Georgia State, Mercer and Kennesaw State are “preliminarily interested in the possibility of facing each other" in an annual in-state men's basketball tournament, according to Doug Roberson of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. The event could “enhance the profile of college basketball in the state and create a set of meaningful games in December when schools customarily struggle for attendance.” Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory indicated that one of the “bigger issues would be fitting the event into each team’s schedule.” Roberson noted working around final exam schedules and conference games "also impacts the scheduling puzzle." However, Philips Arena Senior VP & GM Trey Feazell said that the venue “would be interested in exploring the event as a possible host.” FS South Senior VP & GM Jeff Genthner added the net "would be very interested in discussing television coverage opportunities." Atlanta Sports Council Exec Dir Dan Corso said that the organization "would also be interested." He added that the council “could also assist companies that are curious about title sponsorship.” Corso: "There are a number of factors that go into planning such an event and we would have to assess its feasibility. But if the interest is there among the schools, we would welcome the opportunity to participate in a discussion." Roberson noted Philadelphia’s Big Five schools -- LaSalle, Penn, St. Joseph's, Temple and Villanova -- “work their schedules so that each team faces the others at least once per season." Meanwhile, Indiana, Butler, Purdue and Notre Dame "have recently started to participate in a doubleheader in Indianapolis called the 'Crossroads Classic'" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 2/11).
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