John F. Silver
Memphis beat out several sites including the XL Center in Hartford and the Palestra in Philadelphia to host the tournament.
“We are very excited to have the first American Athletic Conference championship at the Fed Ex Forum,” commissioner Mike Aresco said. “We received significant interest from many outstanding venues. FedEx Forum is an outstanding facility and the Forum, the city of Memphis the University of Memphis and the local community will combine to create a wonderful inaugural event that our teams, coaches and administrators and fans will embrace and enjoy.”
The American tournament will take place on March 12-15 with the 10-team tournament televised on ESPN. The league has enjoyed the 8 p.m. Saturday night slot when it was the Big East, but is likely headed for an earlier time with 6 p.m. being the favorite.
The Fed Ex Forum, home to the Grizzlies and Memphis, is an 18,400 arena located off Beale Street in the popular entertainment district in Memphis. The building has hosted NCAA Regionals in the past.
The women’s tournament will he held at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. The men’s and women’s basketball tournaments are one-year deals and the conference has said that it is likely to move the tournament year-to-year to test different markets before making a final decision.