The 36th annual ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament tips off Thursday morning at the Greensboro Coliseum. Last year, more than 60,000 tickets were purchased for the four day event. Fans attending this year’s tournament are likely to notice some of the $8.5 million in renovations and upgrades that were recently completed.
For the first time since the building opened more than 50 years ago, all of the seats in the downstairs bowl will have cushions. One Coliseum employee said that the change in seats was decided following the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships in 2011. Many patrons complained about being sore after sitting for long periods of time.
The Coliseum now has a high-definition scoreboard and additional concession stands. Eight-foot by 12-foot televisions from the previous jumbotron are being reused in the upper concourse of the building.
Sixth-ranked Duke is the top seed in the tournament after going 17-1 in ACC play and 27-2 overall. UNC, #15 in the latest poll, is the third seed in the tournament. Both the Blue Devils and Tar Heels have a first-round bye and will play Friday. North Carolina State plays Clemson Thursday afternoon at 2. The Championship game will be broadcast by ESPN2 on Sunday.
This is the 14th consecutive year the women’s tournament takes place at the Greensboro Coliseum. It serves as a precursor to the men’s tournament which runs March 14th-17th.