Friday, August 24, 2001

C-USA tourney likely to stay at Firstar

Arena sale left Conference USA event in limbo

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        It appears the Conference USA men's basketball tournament will remain in Cincinnati at Firstar Center after all.

        The contract for the event in 2002 and 2004 was not accepted by The Nederlander Co. LLC when it bought the riverfront arena in June through a bankruptcy auction.

        But soon after, C-USA and Nederlander officials began meeting, with the goal of reaching a new agreement.

        “We've made some significant progress,” Raymond S. Harris, Nederlander's chief financial officer, said Thurs day. “We're optimistic, but we aren't done yet. All indications are that it's looking pretty good. We're just making sure from a logistics standpoint we've got everything lined up.”

        He said the deal could be finalized within the next couple of weeks.

        “We'd like to be able to start organizing and dedicating some people to it,” Harris said.

        The 2002 tournament is set for March 6-9.

        C-USA commissioner Mike Slive was unavailable Thursday.

        UC athletic director Bob Goin said his understanding is that the event will stay at Firstar.

        “I'm thrilled that the conference and Nederlander are working this out,” Goin said. “It's going to be exciting to have the tournament in Cin cinnati.”


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