The Atlantic University Sport Final 6 men’s basketball tournament is leaving Halifax for a year — and maybe longer.
The AUS announced yesterday that for the first time in almost three decades, the popular annual event will be held outside of Halifax at Centre 200 in Sydney from March 12 to 14 because of a conflict with the Tim Hortons Brier.
The Canadian men’s curling championship, the Brier, runs from March 6 to 14 at the Metro Centre.
But AUS executive director Phil Currie said the move from Halifax could be more than just a one-year hiatus. With the Canadian Interuniversity Sport men’s basketball championship returning to the Metro Centre from Ottawa in 2011, “our members have interest in having the (Final 6) moved.”
“We need to have a look at how this works in 2010, and if it’s successful have internal discussion about moving it away for a couple of years while we host the national championship in Halifax,” he said. “Those things aren’t decided but they’re conversations we can have leading up to (2011).”
The Final 6 has been held at the Metro Centre for 24 of the past 28 years. The other four it was held at the Halifax Forum. The last time the Final 6 was held outside of Halifax was in 1981 at the Aitken Centre in Fredericton, N.B.
The AUS didn’t want to hold the Final 6 at the Forum again because the last time that happened — in 2003 — attendance dropped by roughly 50 per cent.
Trade Centre Ltd. is shipping the Metro Centre’s basketball floor to and from Centre 200 for the event.
Currie said Sydney “just made sense.”
“They’re welcoming us with open arms,” he said.