Alaska Anchorage To Host 2018 GNAC Hoops Championships
Opened in 2014, the Alaska Airlines Center is the home to Alaska Anchorage volleyball, basketball and gymnastics teams and the GCI Great Alaska Shootout.
Opened in 2014, the Alaska Airlines Center is the home to Alaska Anchorage volleyball, basketball and gymnastics teams and the GCI Great Alaska Shootout.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. – Alaska will be the last frontier for Great Northwest Athletic Conference basketball team’s title hopes in 2018 as the University of Alaska Anchorage will host the 2018 GNAC Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championships.

The eighth edition of the annual tournament, featuring the conference’s top six men’s and women’s basketball teams, will take place March 1-3, 2018, at the Alaska Airlines Center on the Alaska Anchorage campus. This will be just the second GNAC championship event to be held at UAA, which was a charter member of the conference in 2001, and the first at Alaska Airlines Arena.

“We are thrilled to be chosen as the host for the 2018 GNAC Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championships,” said UAA Athletic Director Keith Hackett. “The Alaska Airlines Center is certainly one of the finest facilities in the nation and I have no doubt that visiting teams and fans will enjoy their experience. We look forward to welcoming our GNAC member institutions to Anchorage.”

Anchorage will be the third GNAC city to host the event since moving to a single site format in 2012. Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Wash., hosted the 2012 through 2014 tournaments and won the right to host again in 2016 and 2017. Montana State Billings was the tournament host in 2015.

“We are extremely pleased to feature our men’s and women’s basketball championships in the best on-campus venue in Division II in 2018,” said GNAC Commissioner Dave Haglund. “Along with the fantastic fan support that Alaska is known for, the Alaska Airlines Center and UAA’s long-standing reputation for staging outstanding events will undoubtedly make for a memorable experience for our conference student-athletes.”

The GNAC Championships will be held in the conference’s newest and largest basketball facility. Opened in 2014, the 5,000-seat arena is the home facility for Alaska Anchorage volleyball, basketball and gymnastics. The arena also hosts concerts and other university events. The Alaska Airlines Center is also the host site for the Alaska School Activities Association’s 3A/4A High School State Volleyball and Basketball Championships.

The Alaska Airlines Center features state-of-the-art video boards and technology, an 800-seat auxiliary gymnasium and a state-of-the-art athletic training facility. Fans at the 2018 GNAC Championships will also be treated to the Varsity Sports Grill on the suite level, where patrons can eat lunch or dinner in a restaurant setting while enjoying the games.

The GNAC Championships will be the latest in a series of high-profile sporting events hosted by Alaska Anchorage. The school is the longtime host of the GCI Great Alaska Shootout, the oldest continual holiday basketball tournament in the nation. The Shootout continues to attract high level Division I competition to Anchorage for four days of men’s and women’s basketball competition over the Thanksgiving weekend. In 2015, the school and arena played host to the NCAA Division II West Region Volleyball Championships.