Elon to host 2020 CAA Women's Basketball Championship
Elon's new 5,100-seat Schar Center will be the site for the tournament, scheduled for March 2020.
Elon University's new Schar Center has been selected as the host site for the 2020 Colonial Athletic Association Women's Basketball Championship, the league office announced on Thursday, June 21.
"We are thrilled to host the CAA Women's Basketball Championship on our campus inside Schar Center in 2020," said Elon Director of Athletics Dave Blank. "Coach Smith and her staff have done a great job growing the fan base for women's basketball in our community and we are grateful for the opportunity and excited to host this championship in Alamance County."
The CAA's two-time defending tournament champion, Elon will be the fourth league member to host the tournament since the conference returned to campus hosts ahead of the 2017 event. Schar Center, the university's new state-of-the-art 5,100-seat arena, is set to open this upcoming year.
"We are very excited the CAA has given us the chance to showcase our program in front of our passionate fans on the biggest stage in March," said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. "The first two tournaments at campus sites have brought fantastic atmospheres with gracious hosts, we know Delaware will do the same this season and we look forward to welcoming the rest of the CAA to Schar Center in 2020."
After holding the tournament at Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md., from 2011-16, the tournament returned to host sites prior to the 2017 tournament with James Madison and Drexel hosting in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The 2019 tournament will be held at Delaware's Bob Carpenter Center.
"The CAA is very excited to bring its Women's Basketball Championship to Elon's campus in 2020," CAA Commissioner Joe D'Antonio said. "The Schar Center offers the Conference an opportunity to provide its student-athletes, coaches, administrators and fans with a first-class championship experience."
Only once before in Elon's Division I history has it hosted postseason conference tournament action. In its final season as a member of the Big South, Elon hosted first-round action against Winthrop and beat the Eagles 73-61 on March 4, 2003. Since, Elon has twice hosted postseason competition in welcoming four opponents for WBI action in 2010-11 and 2012-13. Before becoming a Division I member, the team also hosted postseason competition on two occasions in the 1970s.
In each of the first two tournaments at hosts sites, Elon has defeated both of the tournament hosts on its home floor with a 78-60 title-game victory over James Madison at the JMU Convocation Center on March 11, 2017, and a 57-45 victory over Drexel inside the Daskalakis Athletic Center on March 10, 2018.
Scheduled to open in fall 2018, Schar Center will serve as the new home court for Elon's basketball and volleyball teams, as well as a variety of campus events, speakers, concerts and other special events. The arena includes a practice facility with two full courts, hospitality room, club-level seating and high-definition video boards.
Visitors to the Schar Center website can take a look inside and outside the building with fly-through videos. In addition, an interactive construction cam allows viewers to scroll back through construction photos and provides a time-lapse feature so viewers can watch the center take shape.
The facility is named for Elon parents Dwight and Martha Schar of Palm Beach, Fla., who are among Elon's most generous donors and whose $13 million in gifts to the university provided lead funding for the convocation center and the expanded School of Communications.