Sun Belt Looking For New Conference Headquarters

September 18, 2012 · By · Filed Under Sun Belt Conference 

The Sun Belt Conference may not be calling New Orleans home much longer according to The conference office has called New Orleans for the home for their offices for the past two decades.

Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson said that the conference is considering their current home New Orleans along with Atlanta, Orlando, Nashville, Memphis and Birmingham as possible sites for the league’s men’s and women’s basketball tournaments as well as a potential home for the conference office.

The University of New Orleans is no longer a member of the Sun Belt Conference, but New Orleans still has ties to the league in the R&L Carrier New Orleans Bowl that invites the Sun Belt Champion each season.

Among the other cities that are under consideration, only two of them have Sun Belt schools located within or very nearby. Atlanta has Georgia State who will be joining the conference in 2013 and Nashville with long-time member Middle Tennessee State nearby.

The basketball tournaments are contracted to play in Hot Springs, Arkansas through the 2013-2014 season, but the city also has a 30-day window after the 2013 tournament to exclusively negotiate another contract with the Sun Belt.

Benson toured the Gwinnett Arena with members of Georgia State’s athletic department and the Atlanta Sports Council. Benson said he liked the facilities.

“The priority is finding the right location for our basketball tournament,” Benson said. The Conferences wishes to find a location that will be good for fans to travel to and that will provide a good experience for the fans that will result in better attendance. With the conference spread from Texas to Florida, he said somewhere central would be ideal.

Last seasons’ championship game between Western Kentucky and North Texas was attended by 4,216. The men’s tournament had a total attendance of 16,109 while the women had a total attendance of 13,253.

Benson said that Atlanta is “very, very preliminary.”


2 Responses to “Sun Belt Looking For New Conference Headquarters”

  1. Thad on November 30th, 2012 7:42 am

    This is typical sun belt thinking. Why is Mobile not on the list? South Alabama has been with the league since the inception and stayed way too long. It would be nice to see the conference HQ in a city that actually has a team in the conference- Hello? People get it right!!

  2. Brian on November 30th, 2012 10:01 am

    You would think that Mobile should be on the list because, like you said, it has a team in the conference. But there are other factors as well such as the Senior Bowl, a regional airport, plenty of things to do, a great entertainment district and a short drive to world renound beaches.

    I think commissioner Benson has his eye set on Atlanta now that Georgia State is entering the conference.

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