by Sam Hieb
N&R’s Allen Johnson interviews Greensboro Coliseum director (and highest-paid city employee) Matt Brown as he prepares for what could be Gboro’s next to last ACC Tournament:
Brown still prefers only one gear: overdrive, even into his 60s.
“I never worry about my age,” he said. “I don’t think of it that way. It’s more important how you feel.”
Right now he feels challenged. One of the coliseum marquee attractions, the ACC men’s basketball tournament, tips off this week, but its future in Greensboro is uncertain.
It returns to the city next year, but what happens after that is unclear.
And with the ACC expanding, there’s talk of New York entering the competition for the event. So, Brown feels an added urgency this year for the coliseum to put its best foot forward, as Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame play in their first ACC tournament, and Louisville arrives next season.
What worries him most concerning other competitors for the ACC tournament:
Clearly, just having the addition of a new alternative site like New York, where they feel the pressure to go because of the attention that they feel they’d get in New York — what it does in terms of their stature and how they’re viewed in terms of placement of teams. Now, did New York just replace Florida as an alternative? Or did it replace Atlanta as an alternative? Is it presumed that Greensboro will continue to get its share of tournaments? We’ll certainly do everything in our to power to continue to support them in making that decision. That’s why the timeliness of these improvements is so crucial. We could not afford to have given the ACC an excuse to say, “When you fix up your place we’ll come back to see ya.”
Meanwhile the N&R’s Jeri Rowe “looks back to look forward— and hope”:
But Tournament Town, our Hoopville, is threatened. We’ll host the tournament next year, and we’ve played host for four of the past five years. But in 2016, the tournament is going to D.C., and this spring, the ACC is expected to decide where the tournament will land for the next five years.
The ACC is big, 15 teams big. And this week, because of that number, our tournament will run five days — not four — and bring in three new members, all big names of college basketball: Syracuse, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh.
A bigger conference opens the door — and the discussion — toward moving the tournament to bigger cities and bigger media markets.
Money rules, people like to say, and TV ratings will dictate our collective passion.