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AHSAA Central Regional Basketball Tournament Moving to Montgomery’s Garrett Coliseum

     MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) is moving the Central Regional Basketball Tournament from Alabama State University to Montgomery’s historic Garrett Coliseum. The change was announced by AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese Thursday.
    Alabama State, which hosted the tournament from 2007-2015 at Dunn-Oliver Acadome, opted out of the remainder of its contact.
    The contract with Garrett Coliseum, which seats 8,500 with capacity to add up to 4,000 more seats, will be for three years (2017, 2018 and 2019). The 2017 tournament is scheduled for Feb. 16-22 and will feature 28 boys’ and 28 girls’ teams, four each in seven classifications, qualifying through earlier rounds of the AHSAA state playoffs. The regional winners will advance to the 95th annual AHSAA State Basketball Tournament in Birmingham the following week (Feb. 27-March 4).
    “We thank Alabama State University for serving as a site for this tournament,” Savarese said. “We are also very excited about the Central Regional at Garrett Coliseum. This arena has so much history. We have an outstanding relationship with the City of Montgomery. They already host many AHSAA events including the state baseball and softball championships, super sectional wrestling and super regional volleyball championships. We truly believe playing at Garrett Coliseum will be a memorable experience for our member schools and team participants.”
    Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange expressed similar sentiments.
   “The AHSAA Central Regional Basketball Tournament is a time-honored tradition in the River Region, and we're ecstatic to continue this partnership as we will now call Garrett Coliseum home,” Strange said. “Without hesitation, we offered to help find a way to keep this tournament in our community and further build on our credentials as the sports capital of Alabama. Not only does it complement the current athletic offerings and events happening in Montgomery, but it also provides students, their families and friends with an opportunity to experience the revitalization across our community while exploring what has been named America's Best Historic City, as well as the ‘Capital of Dreams’.”
     Garrett Coliseum, which opened in 1953, has a rich history with the sport of basketball going all the way back to 1955. Auburn University played Coach Adolph Rupp’s Kentucky Wildcats on Feb. 4, 1955 in what would be the first of five games played by the perennial SEC powerhouse.  Kentucky, which began the 1955-56 season ranked No. 2 in the nation, won that first game 82-81 over the Tigers, and returned on Feb. 26 to lose to Alabama’s famed Rocket Eight 101-77 in what is still considered one of the biggest wins in Crimson Tide history.
    Kentucky beat Alabama 45-43 in overtime at Garrett Coliseum in 1958 and downed the Tide 75-55 in 1960. The final game of the Wildcats’ series was a 99-79 win over Auburn in 1964.  Garrett Coliseum also hosted the Blue-Gray Classic college basketball tournament for many years as well as a variety of local high school games and other college games. Most recently, Garrett Coliseum has hosted the Harlem Globetrotters basketball show.
    More than 25 million patrons have attended events at Garrett Coliseum, which is best known for its concerts featuring entertainers such as Lionel Richie and the Commodores, Prince, Elvis Presley, Kenny Rogers, George Strait, Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Elton John, Hank Williams and the Globe Trotters. It also hosts many other events including the annual Alabama National Fair, rodeos, professional wrestling and a variety of other major entertainment events.
    The AHSAA basketball playoffs include regional tournaments at three other regional sites: Dothan Civic Center (South Regional); Jacksonville State University’s Pete Mathews Coliseum (Northeast Regional); and Wallace State-Hanceville’s Tom Drake Coliseum (Northwest Regional).
    The AHSAA began its regional tournament format in 1994 with ASU as the site of its Central  Regional. In 1995 it was renamed the Southeast Regional and moved to Troy University where it remained until 2007. The Southeast Regional name was changed back to the Central Regional in 2007 when it returned to Montgomery and ASU and Troy, became the site of the South Regional the next three years. South Alabama hosted the South Regional from 2010-12 and Dothan Civic Center has been the host since 2013. The Central Regional remained at ASU the last nine years.
   Approximately two million fans have attended the regionals since 1994 with more than 400,000 attending the Central Regional during that time span.


History of AHSAA Central Regional Basketball Tournament

1994 – Alabama State University – Southeastern Regional
1995 – Troy University – Southeastern Regional
1996 – Troy University – Southeastern Regional
1997 – Troy University – Southeastern Regional
1998 – Troy University – Southeastern Regional
1999 – Troy University – Southeastern Regional
2000 – Troy University – Southeastern Regional
2001 – Troy University – Southeastern Regional
2002 – Troy University – Southeastern Regional
2003 – Troy University – Southeastern Regional
2004 – Troy University – Southeastern Regional
2005 – Troy University – Southeastern Regional
2006 – Troy University – Southeastern Regional
2007 – Alabama State University – Central Regional
2008 – Alabama State University – Central Regional
2009 – Alabama State University – Central Regional
2010 – Alabama State University – Central Regional
2011 – Alabama State University – Central Regional
2012 – Alabama State University – Central Regional
2013 – Alabama State University – Central Regional
2014 – Alabama State University – Central Regional
2015 – Alabama State University – Central Regional
2016 – Garrett Coliseum, Montgomery – Central Regional

History of AHSAA South Regional Basketball Tournament

1994 – Troy University – South Regional
1995 – Faulkner JUC0, Bay Minette – Southwest Regional
1996 – Faulkner JUC0, Bay Minette – Southwest Regional

1997 – Faulkner JUC0, Bay Minette – Southwest Regional
1998 – Faulkner JUC0, Bay Minette – Southwest Regional
1999 – Faulkner JUC0, Bay Minette – Southwest Regional
2000 – University of South Alabama – Southwest Regional
2001 – University of South Alabama – Southwest Regional
2002 – University of South Alabama – Southwest Regional
2003 – University of South Alabama – Southwest Regional
2004 – University of South Alabama – Southwest Regional
2005 – University of South Alabama – Southwest Regional
2006 – University of South Alabama – Southwest Regional
2007 – Troy University – South Regional
2008 – Troy University – South Regional
2009 – Troy University – South Regional
2010 – University of South Alabama – South Regional
2011 – University of South Alabama – South Regional
2012 – University of South Alabama – South Regional
2013 – Dothan Civic Center – South Regional
2014 – Dothan Civic Center – South Regional
2015 – Dothan Civic Center – South Regional
2016 – Dothan Civic Center – South Regional

History of AHSAA Northeast Regional Basketball Tournament

1994 through 2015 – Jacksonville State University
2016 – Jacksonville State University

History of AHSAA Northwest Regional Basketball Tournament

1994 through 2015 – Wallace State-Hanceville Junior College
2016 – Wallace State-Hanceville Junior College

 

 




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