Conference USA announced today that Birmingham, Alabama was awarded the 2015 men's and women's basketball tournaments. Four other presentations on the site of the basketball championships were made to C-USA officials, including El Paso, Shreveport-Bossier, Mississippi Gulf Coast, and Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Steve Kaplowitz.

Travel was one of the big reasons C-USA chose Birmingham for next year's tournament site. Charlotte, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, Middle Tennessee, and Western Kentucky can make the drive to Birmingham in six hours or less.

UTEP was the site the for 2010 and 2014 C-USA men's and women's basketball championships. Despite Tim Floyd's team being eliminated in the quarterfinals and Keitha Adams' squad knocked out in the semifinals, the tournament was a money maker for El Paso. The tournaments generated nearly $1.1 million in ticket revenue, allowing UTEP to cover tournament expenses and the minimum guarantee of $500,000 to C-USA without having to request additional funding from the El Paso Sports Commission, City of El Paso, and Destination El Paso. University officials estimated that the tournament also provided an economic impact of $4.5 million.

“Destination El Paso is very pleased with the final outcome of the 2014 Conference USA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships,” said Bryan Crowe, General Manager of Destination El Paso. “With an increase in number of teams [31 total], this made for a longer tournament and more hotel rooms being booked. A total of 3,200 hotel rooms were utilized by teams, cheerleaders, bands, cheer/dance squads, officials, media and fans in attendance which contributed an estimated $4.5 Mil to the local economy. Equally impressive, the event garnered national media attention valued at nearly $400,000.”