OTTAWA (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport announced Monday the return of the ArcelorMittal Dofasco CIS men's basketball championship to Halifax for a two-year run in 2017 and 2018.
Dalhousie University, Acadia University and event management partner Sports & Entertainment Atlantic (S|E|A) teamed up to bring back the prestigious tournament to the Scotiabank Centre, which was the site of 24 straight national Final Eight competitions from 1984 to 2007, before hosting two more editions in 2011 and 2012.
The Dalhousie Tigers will receive the host entry for the 2017 tourney, while the Acadia Axemen will get the automatic berth the following year.
"Dalhousie is thrilled that our joint bid to bring the CIS Final Eight back to Halifax was successful," said Tim Maloney, Dalhousie's director of athletics. "This event will have a remarkable impact on our campus and community. Fans will be treated to some of the best basketball Canada has to offer. Being entrusted with such a prestigious event is an incredible honour and a responsibility we take very seriously."
"Acadia University, Athletics and Axemen, are excited and proud to be partners in hosting the CIS men's basketball championship. Basketball has been designated as one of the CIS' three market-driven sports so this is extremely significant for a school of our size," said Acadia director of athletics Kevin Dickie. "Acadia has a storied men's basketball tradition, participating in the Final Eight twenty-four times. This event will be significant for our recruiting, brand and our continued goal of being a nationally recognized athletic program. You can count on our alumni, fans and the Annapolis Valley taking residence in Halifax during the event."
Sports & Entertainment Atlantic is no stranger to attracting CIS championship events to Nova Scotia's capital. The Halifax-based company partnered with St. Francis Xavier and Saint Mary's universities to stage the 2015 and 2016 University Cup men's hockey tournaments at the Scotiabank Centre.
"We are honoured to have earned the opportunity to continue, with the help of our partners, the Final Eight legacy created by Atlantic University Sport and the dedicated volunteers who built this event into the successful institution it was here in Halifax," stated Derek Martin, president of S|E|A. "With our hosting of the CIS University Cup men's hockey championships again this March, S|E|A remains committed to elevating the university sport brand in our marketplace."
The 2017 tournament will mark the 31st overall staging of the CIS men's basketball Final Eight in Halifax as Saint Mary's also held the event on campus for three straight years from 1976 to 1978, while Acadia hosted at St. Patrick's High School in 1965.
Acadia also hosted the competition on campus in Wolfville, N.S., in 1971. For its part, Dalhousie served as host for the first four editions of the 24-year run at the Scotiabank Centre from 1984 to 1987.
One team that won't mind battling for the W.P. McGee Trophy in Halifax is reigning five-time national champion Carleton. The Ravens captured their first-ever CIS title at the Scotiabank Centre in 2003 and have won the last seven national tourneys held at the venue.
Before returning to Halifax, the Final Eight will head out west in a few months as UBC is set to host the 2016 edition in Vancouver from March 17 to 20.
NOTE: The exact dates for the 2017 and 2018 CIS men's basketball championships – which will be held in March - will be announced at a later date.
ALL-TIME CIS MEN'S BASKETBALL FINAL 8 HOSTS (champions)
2018 Acadia University & Dalhousie University - Scotiabank Centre, Halifax
2017 Acadia University & Dalhousie University - Scotiabank Centre, Halifax
2016 University of British Columbia
2015 Ryerson University (Carleton)
2014 Carleton University - Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa (Carleton)
2013 Carleton University - Scotiabank Place, Ottawa (Carleton)
2012 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (Carleton)
2011 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (Carleton)
2010 Carleton University - Scotiabank Place, Ottawa (Saskatchewan)
2009 Carleton University - Scotiabank Place, Ottawa (Carleton)
2008 Carleton University - Scotiabank Place, Ottawa (Brock)
2007 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (Carleton)
2006 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (Carleton)
2005 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (Carleton)
2004 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (Carleton)
2003 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (Carleton)
2002 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (Alberta)
2001 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (StFX)
2000 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (StFX)
1999 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (Saint Mary's)
1998 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (Bishop's)
1997 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (Victoria)
1996 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (Brandon)
1995 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (Alberta)
1994 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (Alberta)
1993 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (StFX)
1992 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (Brock)
1991 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (Western)
1990 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (Concordia)
1989 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (Brandon)
1988 AUS - Metro Centre, Halifax (Brandon)
1987 Dalhousie University - Metro Centre, Halifax (Brandon)
1986 Dalhousie University - Metro Centre, Halifax (Victoria)
1985 Dalhousie University - Metro Centre, Halifax (Victoria)
1984 Dalhousie University - Metro Centre, Halifax (Victoria)
1983 University of Waterloo (Victoria)
1982 University of Victoria (Victoria)
1981 University of Waterloo (Victoria)
1980 University of Calgary (Victoria)
1979 University of Calgary (Saint Mary's)
1978 Saint Mary's University (Saint Mary's)
1977 Saint Mary's University (Acadia)
1976 Saint Mary's University (Manitoba)
1975 University of Waterloo (Waterloo)
1974 University of Waterloo (Guelph)
1973 University of Waterloo (Saint Mary's)
1972 University of British Columbia (UBC)
1971 Acadia University (Acadia)
1970 McMaster University (UBC)
1969 University of Waterloo (Windsor)
1968 St. Francis Xavier University (Waterloo Lutheran)
1967 St. Francis Xavier University (Windsor)
1966 University of Calgary (Windsor)
1965 Acadia University at St. Patrick’s High School (Acadia)
1964 University of Windsor (Windsor)
1963 University of Windsor (Windsor) *
* The University of Windsor was still known as Assumption at the time of the 1963 championship