Wheeling to Serve as New Home for MEC Basketball Tournament

Photo Provided by West Liberty Athletics West Liberty’s Dan Monteroso goes up for a jump shot over a Charleston defender during Saturday’s game.

WHEELING — The Mountain East Conference has a new home for its basketball tournament in the city of Wheeling.

During an announcement today at WesBanco Arena, Mountain East officials said the partnership with the city of Wheeling will allow for the men’s and women’s basketball tournament to be held at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling for at least the next two years, with the MEC having an option to extend it to three. The tournament for years has been held in Charleston, but the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau on Monday announced it had withdrawn its bid for the event.

The Health Plan will serve as the presenting sponsor for the event.

The 2019 Mountain East Basketball tournament is scheduled for March 6-10.

“We are very excited to announce this partnership with the city of Wheeling and The Health Plan,” MEC Commissioner Reid Amos, a former Wheeling resident, said. “We believe that the MEC basketball tournament has been a first-class experience for our student-athletes, and Wheeling has committed to a bid that provides an opportunity to take the championship experience to a new level.

“The bid efforts by Wheeling’s local host committee in securing and continuing to seek additional incentives, sponsorships and other financial commitments for our league will

provide a financial opportunity that is unprecedented for the MEC and we are confident that it is among the best offers for an NCAA Division II conference basketball


Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott said the tournament will help to showcase the positives happening in Wheeling.

“Hosting the MEC basketball tournament in Wheeling presents the city with a great opportunity to build on the growing momentum in our community and adds another

arrow in the quiver of making our downtown a destination for residents and visitors,” Elliott said. “It has been encouraging to see so many

community partners work together to secure this bid.”

Jim Pennington, president and CEO of The Health Plan, echoed Elliott’s comments on how the tournament will help to create a “welcome level of excitement in a city that is coming alive again.”

“We want to thank RED, Oglebay Resort & Conference Center, Wheeling Convention & Visitors Bureau, WesBanco Arena, the city of Wheeling and Mayor Glenn Elliott and the Ohio County Commission for all of their hard work in helping to bring this tournament to Wheeling. It was truly a business collaboration of individuals who love the city and are eager to bring this tournament to the next level. We are looking forward to 2019.”

Both West Liberty University and Wheeling Jesuit University are members of the Mountain East Conference.