CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 03: Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney celebrates winning the ACC Championship game against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Bank of America Stadium on December 3, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
As part of this week's ACC spring meetings, commissioner John Swofford announced the location and dates for the 2012-13 ACC championships. All your neutral site conference championships are belong to North Carolina.
Notice a pattern?
-- Women's Soccer - WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, N.C., November 1, 2 & 4, 2012
-- Men's Soccer - Maryland SoccerPlex, Germantown, Md., November 5, 6, 9 & 11, 2012
-- Football - Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C., December 1, 2012
-- Women's Swimming & Diving / Men's Diving - Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, N.C., February 20-23, 2013
-- Men's Swimming - Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, N.C., February 27-March 2, 2013
-- Women's Basketball - Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Greensboro, N.C., March 7-10, 2013
-- Men's Basketball - Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Greensboro, N.C., March 14-17, 2013
-- Women's Golf -- Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, N.C., April 19-21, 2013
-- Men's Tennis -- Cary Tennis Park, Cary, N.C., April 25-28, 2013
-- Women's Tennis -- Cary Tennis Park, Cary, N.C., April 25-28, 2013
-- Men's Golf -- The Old North State Club, Uwharrie Point, New London, N.C., April 26-28, 2013
-- Baseball -- Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Durham, N.C., May 22-26, 2013
In addition, there are a total of nine championship events hosted at campus sites -- cross country and indoor track & field at Virginia Tech, field hockey and lacrosse at North Carolina, wrestling at Maryland, outdoor track & field at N.C. State, softball at Florida State, and rowing at Clemson.
I mean, I get it. North Carolina is the geographic epicenter of the conference and it's easy for programs to fly into either RDU or CLT. But all but one of the neutral site conference championship events played in North Carolina seems a bit excessive, no?
My hope is that given the conferences northward expansion that the conference will get a bit more adventurous in its selection of conference championship sites. In recent years the lacrosse championships have floated between the four host schools, but what about a neutral site championship in Baltimore? The Meadowlands after Syracuse joins the fold? Heck, even Foxboro to show BC's athletics department what the school is missing.
Baseball at Fenway Park has always been a no-brainer, but only when we get our own program to a point where we can reasonably convince Greensboro that Birdball is actually going to qualify for the event. I'd also love to see the ACC Basketball Tournament moved out of Greensboro with more regularity with a healthy rotation of Atlanta, Charlotte, DC and New York (Brooklyn? Newark?).
Some championships make sense to keep in the Carolinas, especially given the warmer climes -- e.g. golf, tennis, swimming & diving -- and I'm even cool with the conference making Charlotte the permanent home of the ACC Football Championship Game. But soccer, hoops and baseball should definitely make the rounds and not just be played in the state of North Carolina every year by default.