Story contributed by Appalachian Athletic Conference
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) and Visit Kingsport have signed an agreement to keep seven of the conference’s championship tournament in Kingsport, Tenn., through 2022-23, extending the previous commitment for an additional five years.
The championships that will continue to call Kingsport home are baseball at Hunter Wright Stadium, men’s and women’s basketball at the MeadowView Marriott Resort, softball at Brickyard Park, men’s and women’s swimming at the Kingsport Aquatic Center, and volleyball at the MeadowView Marriott Resort.
“We are very pleased to partner with Visit Kingsport for another five years for seven of our major championships,” said AAC Commissioner John Sullivan. “Over many years, they have demonstrated excellence in the management of our tournaments, beginning with baseball for the past 12 championships and progressing to softball, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, and more recently, men’s and women’s swimming and diving.
“Kingsport is centrally located within our conference, which minimizes travel for our teams and fans,” Sullivan continued. “The facilities are excellent and the organization top notch. Over the years, we have also developed a good relationship with the Kingsport school system and have been able to send our teams to speak at each of the city’s elementary schools about character in sports during our basketball tournament. We look forward to working with Visit Kingsport for many years to come.”
Kingsport has hosted the AAC Baseball Tournament since 2007 with softball following suit in 2009. The volleyball championships moved to Kingsport in 2010, and men’s and women’s basketball joined the mix in 2013. Men’s and women’s swimming became a championship sport for the AAC in 2016-17, and Kingsport hosted their championship meets since the beginning.
The AAC has 15 full members in six southeastern states: Allen (S.C.), Bluefield (Va.), Brenau (Ga.), Bryan (Tenn.), Columbia (S.C.), Columbia International (S.C.), Milligan (Tenn.), Montreat (N.C.), Point (Ga.), Reinhardt (Ga.), SCAD Atlanta (Ga.), St. Andrews (N.C.), Tennessee Wesleyan, Truett McConnell (Ga.), and Union (Ky.). The Conference has three affiliate members as well: Asbury (Ky.), Cumberlands (Ky.), and West Virginia Tech.
The AAC sponsors championships in 22 sports: cross country, soccer, basketball, swimming & diving, indoor track & field, wrestling, lacrosse, outdoor track & field, golf, baseball, and tennis for men; cross country, soccer, volleyball, basketball, swimming & diving, indoor track & field, lacrosse, outdoor track & field, golf, softball, and tennis for women.