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ACC confirms interest in holding tournament in New York

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -

The ACC is considering moving its tournament to New York City, a top league official confirmed Friday. 

The ACC Tournament is in Greensboro for this weekend, 2014 and 2015. The ACC was founded in Greensboro in 1953 and its headquarters remain in the city.

Many cities covet the tournament, and the ACC will announce the host cities for at least 2016-2021 this spring. Karl Hicks, the league's associate commissioner who runs the tournament, told WNCN the conference will discuss the matter at its April meetings and again in May. He said a decision is possible in April but more likely in May.

It's possible, Hicks said, that the tournament could announce dates through 2023.

Hicks would not disclose who is bidding, but Greensboro, Charlotte, Atlanta, Tampa and Washington are believed to be in the hunt.

Hicks confirmed that Madison Square Garden and the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn did not make a bid. ESPN has reported those bids were due last September.

But the ACC has an interest in New York, especially now that Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame – which has a strong Northeast following – are joining the league.

Madison Square Garden has been the longtime host of the Big East Conference tournament, but the final Big East tournament is this weekend. That raises the question of whether the ACC is looking to reach a deal with Madison Square Garden, even though the deadline has passed.

"It's a fluid situation," Hicks said.

Asked directly if Madison Square Garden would bid, Hicks said "I can't comment on that."

But, Hicks hinted, there were other places in the New York market the ACC could consider.

"We've got some options," he said. Hicks declined to identify any of those potential venues.

Hick said the ACC loves being in traditional markets like Greensboro, but also said the ACC has moved its premier event, the ACC Tournament, around as the conference has changed. For example, the ACC Tournament has been in Tampa as a way to build the ACC fan base there.

He said he thought that strategy had been effective in the past and said he expected the ACC to continue with that in the future.

The ACC Tournament has been held at a neutral site since 1967. N.C. State's Reynolds Coliseum played host to the tournament for the first 13 years. 

The northeast is home to many arena's large enough to host the tournament. 

TD Garden in Boston seats 19,580 according to its officials website. No ACC school plays at the Garden regularly. 

The Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. holds 18,500 fans.

The Carrier Dome in Syracuse can seat 49,262 but is not a neutral site for the ACC Tournament. Syracuse is joining the league in the summer of 2013. 

The Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia can seat 20,900 according to the arena's website.

The Consol Energy Center, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins, can seat over 19,000 fans.

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