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Pac-12 men's hoops tourney may be played at EnergySolutions Arena

Published August 19, 2011 8:46 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Looks like Salt Lake City isn't wasting any time in its efforts to become a major economic and cultural piece of the Pac-12 puzzle.

Today, sources said, the Utah Sports Commission filed a multi-pronged and thorough proposal for EnergySolutions Arena to host the Pac-12 men's basketball tournament for five years starting in 2013.

Since 2002, the Pac-10 tournament has been played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. With the additions of Utah and Colorado, the madeover conference requested in July bids for a new tournament site from 2013 through 2017.

While Los Angeles is a logical locale based on climate and exposure, attendance has been traditionally marginal. Still, handicapping whether a city such as Salt Lake could swoop in and steal away the week-long event would purely be speculation.

It's reasonable to assume that each market in the Pac-12, at least those with NBA-level facilities, would be interested in hosting the conference tournament. Still, Salt Lake has been successful hosting postseason tournaments, including an NCAA regional in 2010. Now, would the rest of the conference want to give up sunny L.A. for the uncertain weather of a Wasatch winter? Might seniority rule, keeping a conference freshman from hosting immediately?

No clue. But the conference is expected to make an announcement in late October.

Bill Oram