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Carrier Classic could become annual event

August 8, 2012
By Associated Press , Times Leader

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (AP) - The organizers of the Carrier Classic pre-season college basketball event said Tuesday they would like to make the classic a permanent event in South Carolina.

"We expect to have a long-term relationship with Charleston," Mike Whalen, the founder of Morale Entertainment Foundation told reporters during a news conference aboard the World War II-era aircraft carrier USS Yorktown on Charleston Harbor where the second annual classic will be played on Nov. 9.

The Ohio State women face 2012 national runner-up Notre Dame, followed by the Ohio State men playing Marquette during the event, which Whalen said will be nationally televised.

The first Carrier Classic was played last year aboard the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego, a game attended by President Barack Obama. The president has been invited to attend again this year.

"We're looking to make this an annual event," Whalen said. "We have teams coming in for '13 and '14," he said, adding he could not reveal the teams that have been lined up yet. "We are looking into having a tournament in '13 and, obviously with a tournament, we will have multiple locations."

"I can't say with 100 percent certainty, but if things go well this year we'll be back," he added.

"Nothing would please me more for it to be a multiyear (event) because that means this year is going to be very successful," said Mac Burdette, the executive director of the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum where the Yorktown is berthed.

The arena on the flight deck will take about eight days to set up, four days to remove and will seat about 4,000.

There are a dozen vintage planes on display on the flight deck.

"We won't have to lift them off the flight deck. That was a concern originally," Burdette said. "We will move them to both ends of the ship and there will be plenty of room for everybody else."

Whalen said that of the 4,000 tickets, there will likely only be about 500 for sale to the general public. Tickets will go to each of the competing schools as well as to the Wounded Warrior Project, active duty military and veterans.

Whalen said that, in case of rain, the event will be held at The Citadel's McAlister Field House. But he said that the organizers "have a trick up our sleeve" that could allow the games to be played on the carrier even if it rains. He said details would be announced later.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

 
 

 

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