Columbus is a finalist to be the host city for this summer’s edition of The Basketball Tournament, the Dispatch has confirmed.
The annual event, which has featured teams playing for a $2 million, winner-take-all prize, has been forced to adapt to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Now in its seventh year, TBT will trim its field from 64 teams to 24 teams, all of whom will play in one location.
Columbus was initially selected as one of nine host cities, marking the second consecutive year TBT would hold games . Games were slated to be held at Ohio State’s Covelli Center from July 23-26, while the quarterfinals, semifinals and championship were to be played August 6-11 at the University of Dayton.
This year, the event will take place in July during a span of 10 days. Carmen’s Crew, a team primarily comprised of former Ohio State players, won last year’s title.
Participants in this year’s event will have to self-quarantine for 14 days before arriving in the host city. If a player tests positive, his entire team will be removed from the tournament. As part of its overall testing plan, TBT will have each participant take three tests in roughly a week.
TBT founder Jon Mugar discussed the plan and how long organizers have been preparing for this situation with the Dispatch on May 27. You can read that full story here.
Complicating matters is the fact that Columbus is also a finalist to be one of two hub cities when the NHL resumes play, making it unlikely that both events could take place in the same city.
A formal announcement could come as soon as Monday.