Three years after they generated an estimated economic impact of $3.5 million and national television exposure for the city of El Paso, the Conference USA Basketball Championships are heading back to the Sun City.

C-USA officials announced on Monday that the Board of Directors has approved placing the 2014 championships in El Paso, coinciding with UTEP’s centennial celebration.  The dates and format are to be determined.

“The Board determined that a rotational hosting model would be best moving forward in the conference,” said C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky.  “UTEP and the El Paso community were enthusiastic and extraordinary hosts for our men’s and women’s championship in 2011.”

“It’s terrific news for UTEP and the El Paso community,” said UTEP Director of Athletics Bob Stull.  “So many people banded together to produce a first-class event in 2011 – the city, the county, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Sports Commission and all of our volunteers, particularly from the Sun Bowl Association.  We’re looking forward to staging another great championship in 2014.”

“It’s another tremendous event for our community to celebrate,” said El Paso Convention and Visitors Bureau General Manager Bill Blaziek.  “The 2011 tournament was probably one of the best that Conference USA has ever enjoyed, exceeding all expectations in terms of attendance and revenue.  The performance justified a quick return.”

“I think it’s a testament to the great job we all did the first time the Conference USA Tournament was here,” said El Paso Sports Commission CEO Brian Kennedy.  “I’m looking forward to everybody working together again to produce an outstanding tournament.”

The 2013 C-USA Championships will be played in Tulsa, Okla.

Besides playing host to the C-USA men’s and women’s basketball championship in 2011, the Don Haskins Center was the site of the men’s Western Athletic Conference tournament in 1984, 1985 and 1990.

[UTEP athletics]