The ACC is moving its annual men’s basketball tournament out of the nation’s capital for this season to Greensboro, N.C., because of the coronavirus pandemic, the conference announced late Tuesday morning.

The ACC’s showcase event originally was scheduled to be held at Capital One Arena from March 9 through March 13. Instead, the tournament will be played on those dates at Greensboro Coliseum, which hosted the event last season until the pandemic compelled the ACC to halt play before the start of the quarterfinals and cancel the remaining games.

Capital One Arena was announced as the host site for the 2024 tournament instead. D.C. previously hosted the event in 2005 and 2016.

“The ACC men’s basketball tournament has enjoyed terrific experiences and hospitality at Capital One Arena,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “We look forward to returning to Washington, D.C., and appreciate Greensboro for welcoming and accommodating us during these unique and challenging times.”

Capital One Arena has not hosted an event since March following an order from D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) banning live entertainment and an announcement from Ted Leonsis, the CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, that operations would be paused indefinitely out of an abundance of caution.

“The health and safety of our community is of greatest importance, and we appreciate the Atlantic Coast Conference’s difficult decision,” Dave Touhey, Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s president of venues, said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming the ACC when they return in 2024.”

Greensboro Coliseum has hosted the ACC men’s basketball tournament 27 times, more than any other venue. Brooklyn’s Barclays Center is scheduled to host the event in 2022, and Greensboro is set to host again the following year before the event returns to Washington.

The tournament has been played in eight cities and a dozen arenas since the first event in 1954.

Florida State is the reigning ACC tournament champion after the conference awarded it the 2020 title March 12 after six games were completed. The Seminoles finished first in the ACC during the regular season, securing the No. 1 seed in the tournament.

The announcement of the cancellation came as the Seminoles and Clemson were warming up on the court at Greensboro Coliseum.

“The partnership between the ACC and the city of Greensboro is extremely special, and one that has spanned nearly seven decades,” Swofford said in a statement at the time, adding that awarding the city another tournament was the proper course of action given how last season’s event ended.

Duke won the most recently completed ACC tournament, beating Florida State in the 2019 final, 73-63, behind Zion Williamson, who was named tournament most outstanding player, at Spectrum Center in Charlotte.

This season’s ACC women’s basketball tournament is also scheduled to be played in Greensboro, from March 3 through March 7.

It’s unclear if fans will be permitted to attend games at this season’s tournaments, especially considering a recent record surge in coronavirus cases across the country.

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