The ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament (Part 2)
The process of hosting the ACC Tournament (and others like it) is a long one. The bids for host city for the 2009 tournament were completed in 2006. The conference set a date for the bids to be submitted from approximately four cities. After receiving the bids, the conference decided which city would suit them best for this year. The winning bid is essentially what is written into contract.
As I said before, the tournament success hinges on the collaboration of several different entities. This collaboration starts with the creation of the bid. Each entity is responsible for its own special offering to the tournament. In this case, the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau is responsible for providing hotel and travel information for the bid. This is a vital piece of the bid because it assures the conference that Atlanta has the hotel, restaurants, and entertainment to ACCommodate thousands of fans traveling to the city. In many cases the ACVB creates relationships with certain hotels to provide the conference with discounted hotel rooms, team restaurant packages, or discount packages to attractions such as the aquarium, museums, etc.
The Atlanta Sports Council is essentially the promoter of the event. On top of getting the word out throughout the city and setting up promotions, the council is responsible for providing the conference with anything they made need while in Atlanta. Special requests such as courtesy cars for administrators, coordinating volunteers for the tournament, coordinating special events off site, etc. are among the sports council’s responsibilities.
The Georgia Dome and Georgia World Congress Center are owned and operated by the State of Georgia under the Georgia World Congress Center Authority. This is an advantage because it doubles the space available to the conference for any alternative programming they like to do outside of the games. For example, ACC FanFest is a free event that features corporate sponsor booths, games, food, contests, etc. This function is hosted in an exhibit hall in the Georgia World Congress Center-adjacent to the Dome. This is convenient because it gives fans a nearby place to hang out in between sessions at the Dome.
The month’s leading up to the tournament are spent creating staffing requisitions, developing event outlines, cost estimates, menus, ticket manifests and making sure that every need is met.
All of this planning and coordination leads into Monday, March 9th. This is the day the ACC will move into their office in the Georgia Dome. This is when things will really start to pick up momentum and take off.
In my next post I will include some pictures of the building conversion and talk about the activities going on during event week.
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