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Las Vegas tourism agency extends funds for 2 college basketball tournaments

Updated June 11, 2019 - 5:12 pm

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority on Tuesday nailed down dates for two college basketball tournaments through 2022 and 2023, solidifying the city’s place as a March hoops destination.

The 14-member board unanimously approved an agreement through Las Vegas Events, the LVCVA’s private events management partner, to continue the Mountain West Basketball Championships at the Thomas & Mack Center through 2023 and the West Coast Conference Basketball Championships at the Orleans Arena through 2022.

The Mountain West conference includes UNLV, UNR and nine other schools in California, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and New Mexico.

Tournament dates are March 1-7, 2020; March 6-13, 2021; March 5-12, 2022; and March 4-11, 2023. The championships include men’s and women’s games.

The LVCVA is distributing $1.2 million over four years to fund the events, which are expected to draw 6,500 out-of-town visitors and generate an estimated $9.5 million economic impact each year.

The conference announced last year that it was making its 2020 tournament earlier than usual to avoid conflicting with the presence of the ConExpo-ConAgg construction equipment trade show, which is staged in Las Vegas every three years.

The show, one of the largest on the city’s convention calendar, is scheduled March 10-14, 2020. A 2023 date hasn’t been announced.

Tournament organizers were concerned that high demand for hotel rooms could result in higher prices when the show is in town.

The LVCVA board also approved dates for the West Coast Conference Championships March 5-10, 2020; March 4-9, 2021; and March 3-8, 2022.

The West Coast Conference has 10 private, faith-based schools from California, Oregon, Washington, and Utah.

The LVCVA is distributing $900,000 over three years to fund the events, which are expected to draw 4,300 out-of-town visitors and generate an estimated $6.6 million economic impact.

In other business, the board, in a unanimous vote, formally approved its annual Las Vegas Events agreement of $7.74 million for the 2019-20 fiscal year to finance special events in Las Vegas, Mesquite and Laughlin.

The board also approved spending $730,580 to sponsor IMEX America, a travel buyer and meetings planner trade show expected to bring 13,800 attendees to the Sands Expo & Convention Center on Sept. 10-12.

The board also voted to retain two members, Mary Beth Sewald of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, and Tom Jenkin, an executive with Caesars Entertainment, to two-year extensions of their terms to June 30,2021.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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