Baltimore is hoping it can become the new home for the Colonial Athletic Association men's basketball tournament starting in 2014 or 2015, according to the Baltimore Business Journal. City and state officials made a pitch to CAA officials on Oct. 15 to host the tournament at the First Mariner Arena.
The CAA Tournament has been held in Richmond, Va. since 1990, but the conference's deal with the Richmond Coliseum expires in 2014. Ron Bertovich, deputy commissioner of basketball for the CAA said that 31 cities have inquired about taking over hosting duties. The conference hopes to have a decision about the new location for the tournament by Thanksgiving.
According to a study by Virginia Commonwealth University, the tournament has an average economic impact of $5.8 million per year.
First Mariner Arena, a 14,000-seat arena formerly known as the Baltimore Civic Center, was a first-round site for the NCAA men's basketball tournament in 1995. Towson University, located just outside of Baltimore is a member of the CAA.