What a Weekend
It'll be a shame if the ACC Tournament never comes back to Charlotte.
I've been to every tournament since 1994--all but the first couple as a fan--(with the exception of last year in Tampa) and I think the one this past weekend was the best. The energy was unbelievable. ACC fans were all over downtown and parts south. After Thursday, the arena was packed for every game. (Believe what you read about ticket demand, but in the larger venues there are always open seats.) And that was with much of the area around the arena under construction.
Every restaurant and bar within a five-block radius of the arena seemed to be packed all weekend. Plenty of fans came downtown to enjoy the festivities, tickets or not. I'm not sure how the rest of the city fared, but I imagine restaurants in SouthPark were equally crowded. And I did see Dickie V at Mcintosh's on Saturday night. (Also spotted former Cleveland Cav and Chicago Bull–a teammate of Jordan–Ron Harper at Capital Grille.) The ACC revelers even blended well with the happy-drunk St. Patrick's Day crowd on Saturday.
The ACC has said Charlotte doesn't have a good chance of getting the tourney back because the arena only holds 20,000 college basketball fans. That's about 3,500 fewer than the capactity of Greensboro, which will be the primary host of the tournament in future years, and 10,000 fewer than Atlanta's Georgia Dome, which is an absolutely terrible place to watch a basketball game. Clearly, this is about satisfying high-dollar donors to the prominent ACC schools. That's a shame, because a lot of people had a lot of fun in Charlotte. I mean, I like the two bars and the three restaurants in Greensboro, but they get old after a few years. And the only place to walk to after a game is your car. So, ACC, y'all come back, y'hear?