On Monday morning, the American Athletic Conference announced that the 2019 men’s basketball tournament will be played in Memphis, Tennessee at FedEx Forum.
Memphis hosted the inaugural tournament in 2014.
“We are pleased to be returning to Memphis and FedExForum for our Conference Championship,” Aresco said. “The City of Memphis graciously welcomed us for our first-ever league tournament in 2014 and our student-athletes, coaches and fans experienced a first-class weekend. This is a great basketball town that supports and appreciates the sport.”
While we at The UConn Blog have said that the tournament should be in New Orleans, or one of a host of central, fun cities, this is better than some of the previous host locations and rumored contenders.
The other tournaments have been hosted in Hartford and Orlando. Orlando is fine, just no one showed up. If the tournament was held there more consistently, more people would likely go to what is a good destination city in a warm place in the middle of March.
Memphis is a New Orleans-lite of sorts. There is stuff to do if your team gets bounced early. In addition, the tournament will be hosted by one of the more consistent basketball powers of the league in the Memphis Tigers as opposed to UCF, who was 6-12 in league play, 12-18 overall, and has no discernable basketball history.
It is better than Hartford, for everyone besides UConn fans. Either way, the conference needs to do a better job of driving attendance and excitement around this event. Some more consistency and better destinations would help.