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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, June 25, 2009

WAC tournaments bound for Las Vegas

Advertiser Staff and News Services

LAS VEGAS The Western Athletic Conference is moving its season-ending women's and men's basketball tournaments to Las Vegas.

The deal announced yesterday puts the tournaments at the Orleans Arena in 2011 and 2012. The arena is next to the Orleans hotel-casino just west of the Las Vegas Strip.

WAC commissioner Karl Benson says he thinks Las Vegas will be a neutral site for the conference championships.

"Over the last couple of years, it has become more critical and important to find a neutral site to satisfy the concerns of our men's and women's coaches," Benson said. "WAC fans have shown that they enjoy traveling to Las Vegas and I am certain the Orleans Arena will create a great tournament atmosphere."

Benson and Boyd Gaming Corp. chief executive Keith Smith say they haven't decided whether the Orleans casino sports book will accept wagers on the tournament games.

The 2010 tournaments will be played in Reno, Nev., at the university's Lawlor Events Center.

In April, the conference announced that this year's WAC volleyball tournament will be held at the Orleans Arena.