Despite a new direction and a new format, the California Community College basketball championships will remain local this season.
For the first time in decades, Ventura College will host the 2010-11 championships in March.
The school last hosted the tournament women's tournament in 1993 and the men's tournament in 1972 and 1973.
In the interest of "cost containment," the California Community College Athletic Association decided to reduce the tournament to a Final Four format and hold the event on a community college campus this season.
The event was held in Thousand Oaks, at Cal Lutheran University's Gilbert Center, last March. Ventura College and Saddleback College won the women's and men's state titles, respectively.
"We are pleased to announce that the 2011 CCCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Championships will be held at Ventura College Athletics Event Center (AEC)," wrote Carlyle Carter, the CCCAA president, in an e-mail announcing the decision Monday. "Less than 30 miles west of the site of the 2010 Championships, Ventura College is very accessible and the Ventura administration is enthusiastic and looking forward in assisting us in planning for a spectacular event for the participating student-athletes.
"In addition, the willingness of the Ventura County Visitors & Convention Bureau to assist us in securing competitive bids from various hotel properties to house the participating teams, CCCAA, and the CCCWBCA/MBCA was a huge selling point. Our site visit allowed us to see the venue and the necessary auxiliary facilities as well as the proximity of multiple lodging and restaurant establishments within minutes of the campus.
"The seating capacity at the AEC is also slightly larger than the 2010 facility which was primarily bolstered by the attendance of fans from nearby Ventura. In addition, the venue features items such as a scrolling matrix board, enhanced scoreboard and double tier seating creating an arena type atmosphere. We believe these added enhancements will allow for a true state championship environment for the student-athletes and fans."
We'll have more on the decision later in the weekend.