PIKEVILLE, Ky. (KT) – Some good old-fashioned teamwork has secured another gem for the city of Pikeville.
The City of Pikeville, the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center and the University of Pikeville have agreed to a five-year contract with the Mid-South Conference to be host for its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments and cheerleading championships.
The basketball tournaments will be played at the Expo Center, in conjunction with the 15th Region high school basketball tournament, and the MSC cheerleading championships will take place on the UPIKE campus beginning this February and March.
“Everyone involved, including the University of Pikeville, the 15th Region Tournament and our local hotel partners played an intricate part of bringing Mid-South Conference basketball and cheerleading to Pikeville,” said Expo General Manager Cindy Collins.
The economic impact will be a boon for Pikeville, Collins said. “These great championships will have an immeasurable economic impact on the City of Pikeville and surrounding areas.”
City of Pikeville Manager Philip Elswick said the events should make for an interesting first weekend in March when all three championships will be contested.
“This provides a tremendous opportunity for teams and visitors to experience the hospitality of our residents, hotels, restaurants and local merchants,” he said. “We hope they enjoy the beauty of our region and all of the events and attractions we have to offer.”
The Expo Center has been host for the 15th Region basketball tournament for the past 13 years and the center also was the host venue during the 2006 and 2008 for the Mid-South basketball championships and UPIKE was host to cheerleading competitions in 2006, 2008 and 2014.
The Mid-South tournament has in recent years been played at the Frankfort Convention Center, but that building is scheduled for demolition.
“We were all saddened to learn recently that the Frankfort Convention Center was to be demolished and we were suddenly without a home for what we consider to be our flagship championship event,” said MSC Commissioner Eric Ward. “Luckily, the University of Pikeville stepped up and rallied community support to bring the event to Pikeville for the foreseeable future.”
UPIKE President Dr. Burton Webb said it’s an “excellent opportunity to showcase the fact that Pikeville is a thriving community with a tremendous vision for the future.”
The Expo Center will be the venue for the Kentucky Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in November 2018.