Jun 17 / Rob

The CAA Basketball Tournament is Headed to Washington DC in 2020

The CAA Basketball Tournament has taken place in North Charleston, SC for the past two years. The city is set to host the 2019 edition next spring. And then it’s headed north about 500 miles. The league approved a plan to hold the tourney in Washington DC starting in 2020. DC will also play host in 2021 and 2022.

This really isn’t much of a shock. Charleston is a terrific destination, but a tough trip for the northern based schools of the CAA. The tourney has had pretty good (reported) attendance, but benefited greatly from having  the hometown College of Charleston Cougars make runs to the championship games each of the past two years. Over 8,000 people were in the stands to see CofC cut down the nets this past March. Safe to say the number would have probably been much smaller without the Cougars playing.

Personally, the tourney moving to DC makes it far easier for me to attend. It’s a much more central location, in an area that has plenty of CAA alums. Charleston shouldn’t be considered a failure by any means. Sparsely attended early round conference tournament games are kind of a thing. Not too many, if any, conferences pack ’em in before the semi-finals and championship games. The games in DC will be played in the newly built St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena (future home of the Mystics and Capital City Go-Go). It’s a 4,200 seat facility, which is probably telling. Charleston was a really good host for the CAA. But the league will probably struggle to fill any normal sized arena anywhere. Finding a more centrally located host and a smaller arena, is an experiment worth trying.

3 Comments

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  1. ShadyP / Jun 18 2018

    Like the change North for a more central location…..but this location does not seem like a good decision in SE DC. This is a rather ‘sketchy’ area of DC, and not sure an area I would want to take the family to unless there is some serious area cleanup/revitalization done.

    Seems like there are some decent areas of VA that could host this thing….Norfolk/VaBeach/Roanoke.

  2. Rob / Jun 19 2018

    I don’t think folks need to be overly worried about personal safety when visiting the arena. I’ve read and heard things from people making it seem like it’s way worse than it actually is. There’s a lot of development in the area and things will continue to change by the time the arena opens. I’m not sure St Elizabeths is going to turn the area into the next Gallery Place, but it definitely will change things for the better. It’s not a perfect neighborhood, but it’s not that sketchy either. Certainly no worse than other areas of DC that were once thought of as bad neighborhoods before redevelopment.

  3. ShadyP / Jun 22 2018

    Let’s hope not…..They have a couple of years to do a lot of work. Hoping for the best. I personally liked the Charleston, SC location…..what better excuse to take 2-3 days to hang out and eat in the Charleston area.

    DC is far closer, but going to DC from central VA while very doable always seems like a chore.

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