ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The Appalachian Athletic Conference and the Kingsport Convention and Visitors Bureau have agreed to showcase the AAC men's and women's basketball championship tournaments at the Meadowview Marriott Convention Center and Resort in Kingsport, Tenn., for the next three seasons, AAC Commissioner John Sullivan announced recently.
The agreement begins immediately with Kingsport to host the 2013 AAC men's and women's basketball tournaments at the Meadowview on Feb. 20-23. The agreement guarantees the tournament to be held at the Meadowview in 2014 and 2015 and will be on year-to-year renewal basis thereafter.
"We are very excited to enter into this new agreement with Kingsport to host our Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament," said Sullivan. "The Kingsport Convention and Visitor's Bureau has proven to be an excellent host for our championship tournaments over many years now beginning with our baseball tournament, then volleyball, softball and now basketball.
"Kingsport has made a significant investment in equipment and facilities at the world-class Meadowview Convention Center in order to accommodate this tournament," Sullivan continued, "and we look forward to a very memorable experience for our student-athletes that will equal the very best tournaments at any level across the country."
Kingsport has been the host to the AAC baseball tournament since 2007 and has since added the softball and volleyball conference tournaments. With the addition of men's and women's basketball, Kingsport will now host five of the AAC's championship tournaments.
"We are excited to extend our partnership with the Appalachian Athletic Conference to include the men's and women's basketball championships," said Jud Teague, Executive Director of the Kingsport Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Adding these events helps us to continue to showcase our city and provide first class facilities and events for the student-athletes, their families, and coaches. We look forward to the continued efforts between us and the conference with future events."
The 2013 tournaments mark the first time the AAC will utilize a neutral site for the basketball championships since 2009. For the past three years, tournament games have been held at campus sites with the higher seeded teams serving as hosts.
"I know I speak for our coaches and student-athletes when I say we are looking forward to a combined basketball tournament as we have had for many years," Sullivan commented.
The AAC consists of 11 institutions based in six states in the southeastern part of the United States. The current members of the conference are: Bryan (Tenn.), Columbia (SC), Milligan (Tenn.), Montreat (N.C.), Point (Ga.), Reinhardt (Ga.), SCAD Atlanta (Ga.), St. Andrews (N.C.), Tennessee Wesleyan, Union (Ky.), and Virginia Intermont. In 2013-14, Truett-McConnell College (Ga.) will join the conference as a full member.
The AAC sponsors championships in 15 sports: cross country, soccer, basketball, outdoor track & field, golf, baseball, and tennis for men; cross country, soccer, volleyball, basketball, outdoor track & field, golf, softball, and tennis for women.