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GREENSBORO -- Forty-five years ago, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association played its first championship in the Greensboro Coliseum. Today, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, the Greensboro Sports Commission, the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, and the Greensboro Area Convention and Visitors Bureau are pleased to announce a new partnership agreement that will bring the Western Regional Basketball Championships and State Wrestling Championships to Greensboro and continue the State Track Championships in Greensboro. Other partners in this endeavor are the Greensboro Sports Council, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and North Carolina A&T State University.
Beginning in March of 2009, the Western Regional Basketball Championships will be held in the Special Events Center of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex and at Fleming Gymnasium on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The State Individual Wrestling Championships will be held in the Greensboro Coliseum in 2010 and 2011. The State Track and Field Championships, which have been held at the Irwin Belk Track on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University since 2004 and will continue through 2011.
“Greensboro has long been considered an excellent sports city and we believe our events certainly fit in with a fine sports tradition,” said Charlie Adas, executive director of the NCHSAA. “Our schools, coaches and supporters should certainly enjoy the facilities available to us, and we will work alongside all the folks involved in this effort to make sure that ‘a memory forever’ will be forthcoming when people attend NCHSAA events in Greensboro.”
“Greensboro has had a history of hosting North Carolina High School Athletic Association championships and we have worked extremely hard in conjunction with the Association and our partners to bring championships back to Greensboro,” said Marc Bush, President of the Greensboro Sports Commission. “We are thrilled with this contract that brings Western Regional Basketball Championships to the Coliseum Special Events Center and Fleming Gymnasium at UNC Greensboro; Wrestling Championships to the Arena; and the Track Championships continuing at Irwin Belk Track at North Carolina A&T. Our goal in working with the Association is to successfully host these championships for three years and build on that to bring additional state championships to ‘Tournament Town’. The Sports Commission’s primary mission is to attract youth and amateur sports events to Greensboro and NCHSAA state championships will be a key component of that strategy.”
“We are very excited to partner with the Greensboro Sports Commission and the NCHSAA to host high school basketball and wrestling championship events for the next three years,” said Greensboro Coliseum managing director Matt Brown. “The City of Greensboro’s reputation for excellence in hosting championship sporting events has resulted in the well-earned nickname of ‘Tournament Town’. We are confident that the experience and enthusiasm of the Coliseum and Sports Commission staffs will help these already prestigious events continue to grow to even higher levels in the future."
“We are so excited to be hosting the package of NCHSAA sporting events, basketball, wrestling, and track in Greensboro North Carolina,” said Greensboro Area Convention and Visitor Bureau President Henri Fourrier. “The Greensboro community works hard to achieve the goal, youth sports capitol of the south, and these three events bring Greensboro that much closer in achieving that goal. As our advertising, says, ‘The middle is the best part.’ We are easily accessible from all areas of the state and look for increased participation and involvement not only from Greensboro, as host city, but from participants from the entire state of North Carolina.”
Greensboro has a long history of hosting North Carolina High School Athletic Association state championship events. The Class A Basketball Championships were the first event in Greensboro in 1955 and started a series in which one of the basketball championships were held in Greensboro either at Grimsley High School, the Greensboro Coliseum, or at North Carolina A&T every year except 1967 until 1985. The 2009 Western Regional Championships will mark the 45th Anniversary of the first NCHSAA championship held at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex as Grimsley defeated R.J. Reynolds for the 1964 4-A Championship in the original Greensboro Coliseum. From 1981 until 1985, all four classifications of the State Basketball Championships were held at the Greensboro Coliseum.
For the first time in 1991, the NCHSAA brought all three classifications (A/AA, AAA, AAAA) of State Individual Wrestling to a combined site. The Greensboro Coliseum became the site of the State Individual Wrestling Championships from 1991 until 1994. The first NCHSAA wrestling championship ever held in Greensboro was in 1956,with Greensboro (Grimsley) High School as the champion. Greensboro also hosted the Open State Individual Wrestling in 1960 and Grimsley was the host location for the AAA Championship in 1989 and AAAA Championship in 1990.