Conference USA could tap The Ford Center at The Star, one of football’s most notable training camps, for a future tournament.
No final decision has been announced, but Conference USA is considering its site options for upcoming men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. One of the candidates to host the event is The Ford Center at The Star, the main stadium at the Frisco, TX training camp that opened for the Dallas Cowboys last year.
The Star is positioned to serve purposes other than NFL training, as the surrounding area is being converted into mixed-use development. In addition, the 12,000-seat Ford Center at The Star is a venue that is large enough to host other events. High football has been played at the facility, and Major League Lacrosse announced earlier this year that it will play its 2017 championship there on August 19.
There are still some uncertainties as to whether it will be selected, and it also remains to be seen whether The Ford Center at The Star would host multiple Conference USA tournaments. However, its amenities have put it in the running, and the conference is could make some major decisions in the coming weeks. More from The Virginian Pilot:
What the Cowboys’ facility lacks in proximity – at least for many of the league’s schools and their fans – it makes up for in novelty and in “wow” factor, one advocate said. It’s an outside-the-box option for a conference trying to create excitement surrounding its tournaments.
Although it’s located about 40 minutes from the University of North Texas, the Cowboys’ facility would also be a more neutral site than either Birmingham or El Paso, which also hosted the tournament in 2011.
Both UAB and UTEP used separate arenas for the men’s and women’s games through the first two rounds. The Cowboys’ facility could be configured to put two courts on the playing field, according to a source with knowledge of the proposal.
An announcement could be made before the conference’s spring meetings in Destin, Fla., on May 22-24. The selection of the athletic directors is subject to approval by conference presidents.
It’s unclear whether the conference will award bids for just 2018 or additional years. C-USA commissioner Judy McLeod said in March that one site or multiple sites could be announced for as many as three years.
Photo by Jarah Wright.