RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The CAA Tournament had a great 24 years in Richmond. But with VCU and their leagues of Black & Gold fans out of the picture, it was time for the conference to make a move.
The CAA is expected to announce Wednesday at an 11 am press conference that the league is moving its tournament to Baltimore from 2014-2016. The Richmond Coliseum has been the site of the event since 1990.
The CAA is based in Richmond, but Commissioner Tom Yeager said that after VCU left for the Atlantic-10, the conference would open up bidding for a tournament host. The CAA has a contract with the Coliseum through 2014, but could get out of it after this year's tournament.
Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones released a statement today, which reads:
"Richmond provided a robust and competitive bid for the 2014-2016 CAA Tournament. However, after a long and successful history in Richmond, the CAA has notified the City that they will be moving to Baltimore following the 2013 season. We understand the move to be the result of conference realignments that have shifted the fan base of the tournament. With the changing landscape of the conference and the loss of two local prominent universities, it appears that the move to Baltimore fits the tournaments' long term goals at this time.
"We have had a great partnership for twenty-four years with the CAA and have shared many successes. We wish the CAA well and thank them for the long history. With respect to what's on the city's horizon related to our Coliseum operations, our perspective is that when one door closes, another opens. Even with CAA proceeds and other events, the City subsidizes the Coliseum each year. We will now be able to expand our options going forward for possible future plans related to the facility."
The final CAA Tournament in Richmond will tipoff on March 9th. A study by VCU found that the tournament raised $6 million annually for the city of Richmond.