The 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Tournament will be held at Washington, D.C.’s Verizon Center, ACC commissioner John Swofford announced today.
Washington, D.C. and the Verizon Center is a 250-mile and four-hour drive from Pittsburgh. The Verizon Center is familiar to Pitt fans as the Panthers own a 9-5 record in 14 games at the facility, including an 8-4 record in head-to-head contests against Georgetown.
“Playing the ACC Tournament in Washington, D.C. will be great for our fans, alumni and players,” Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon said. “Washington, D.C. is a short drive for our fan base, we’ve had success at the Verizon Center and every time we play there, it seems like our fans outnumber the opposition’s. I also think it’s a positive for the ACC to be playing the tournament in our nation’s capital.”
Three current Pitt underclassmen are Washington, D.C.-Baltimore natives. In 2016, current Pitt sophomores James Robinson and Durand Johnson will be seniors. Current Pitt freshman Jamel Artis will be a junior.
“We have been excited about the opportunity to bring the ACC Tournament to Washington D.C.,” Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said. “This will be a terrific experience for our fans in a tournament setting as we know from the NCAA Tournament appearance. This is another example of strength of the ACC as an east coast brand.”
The 20,000-seat Verizon Center previously hosted the 2005 ACC Tournament. The Washington metropolitan area also welcomed the ACC in 1976, 1981 and 1987, when the tournament was held at the Capital Centre in Landover, Md. The 14-game 2016 tournament will open Wednesday, March 9 and continue through Sunday, March 13.
“We are excited to bring the ACC Tournament back to the nation’s capital in 2016,” Swofford said. “Verizon Center is a tremendous showcase for our event, and the Washington, D.C. area is an appealing tourist destination for our member institutions, as well as the alumni and fans of our teams. We received a lot of positive feedback after our 2005 Tournament in Washington, and we look forward to duplicating that success in 2016.”
Located in the heart of downtown Washington, D.C., Verizon Center serves as home to the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and the NCAA’s Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team.
Amenities within the arena include 106 luxury suites, a high-definition center-hung scoreboard, an indoor basketball practice facility and 10 dressing rooms. The arena offers a variety of concession stands and restaurants, including kosher, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
The ACC Tournament has been held in seven different cities and 11 venues since the inaugural event in March of 1954. The Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum is set to serve as host in 2014 and 2015.
PITT ALL-TIME AT WASHINGTON, D.C.’S VERIZON CENTER
Total Games: 14; Record: 9-5.
*Pitt Media Relations Dept. provided this update