Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Davidson vs. UNCC

Move to neutral site?
Schools prefer games on campus vs. Bobcats Arena

Davidson and Charlotte created a buzz the past two weeks with basketball games at Bobcats Arena, but don't expect future games between the schools to be played there.

Officials from both schools said they would not rule out that possibility, but said they preferred those games to be at campus sites.

"In some ways it would be attractive because it would be a neutral site every year," said Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz, whose 49ers host the Wildcats tonight at 7:30. "It would be, I would think, a pretty split crowd and a pretty exciting event.

"On the other hand, I think we both like playing at home and giving our fans that type of home game as well."

Both schools drew larger crowds against ACC opponents at Bobcats Arena than the capacity of their on-campus arenas. Davidson averaged 18,000 fans against Duke and North Carolina, and Charlotte drew 9,800 fans to its game with Wake Forest last week. Davidson's Belk Arena holds about 5,700 fans, and Charlotte's Halton Arena seats 9,100.

"It's certainly not out of the question to have games at Bobcats Arena," Davidson athletics director Jim Murphy said. "But we would have to think long and hard before we made a decision."

Murphy said he would prefer a rotation -- where games would be at Bobcats Arena every third year -- instead of moving every game there. Davidson and Charlotte officials also said they have discussed hosting a two-game "classic" style event at the arena, where Davidson and Charlotte would host doubleheaders against schools from other parts of the country. Officials said they would need a sponsor to make that happen, and they said any event would not include a game between the county rivals.

"We want to do what's best for Davidson and Charlotte," Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. "I think things are pretty good right now."

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