The Bahamas’ sports tourism product continues to suffer from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic with several major events on the local calendar relocated or postponed.
The latest casualties were Complete Sport Management’s Battle 4 Atlantis presented by Bad Boy Mowers and bd Global’s Islands of the Bahamas Showcase. Both events will be relocated to respective locations in the United States.
The Battle 4 Atlantis, the longest running of the two events, has become one of the heralded in-season tournaments in college basketball.
According to a report by CBS Sports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein, the 2020 edition tournament will now be hosted in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
It marks the first time since its inception in 2011 that the event will be held outside of The Bahamas and the Atlantis resort.
Games will be played at the Sanford Pentagon which opened in September 2013 and has a seating capacity of 3,250 spectators. It hosts the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA G League.
The Atlantis resort delayed its reopening in July. However, no new date has been identified.
The 2020 tournament is set to feature another star-studded field in 2020 with one former tournament champion and one of the most recognised names in NCAA Division I basketball.
The Duke Blue Devils (ACC) will headline the field along with the Ohio State Buckeyes (Big 10), Texas A & M Aggies (SEC), West Virginia Mountaineers (Big 12), Utah Utes (PAC 12), Creighton Bluejays (Big East), Wichita State Shockers (AAC) and Memhis (AAC).
The Battle 4 Atlantis brand was also set to expand in 2020 with the inaugural B4A Women’s Tournament featuring an eight-team field of elite Division I programmes.
The field will include the Marquette Golden Eagles (Big East), Minnesota Golden Gophers (Big 10), Oklahoma Sooners (Big 12), Oregon Ducks (Pac 12), South Carolina Gamecocks (SEC), South Florida Bulls (American Athletic Conference), Syracuse Orangewomen (ACC) and Central Michigan Chippewas (Mid American).
The field for the 2021 edition of the tournament was recently revealed featuring several returning programmes. The UConn Huskies (American Athletic Conference) will make their third tournament appearance while the Syracuse Orange (ACC), Michigan State Spartans (Big 10), and Virginia Commonwealth Rams (A10) will make their second appearance.
The remainder of the field includes the Texas Tech Red Raiders (Big 12), Arizona State Sun Devils (PAC 12), Auburn Tigers (SEC) and Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (Missouri Valley Conference) making their B4A debut in the 2021 field.
The Islands of the Bahamas Showcase was set to enter its fourth edition. In 2017 and 2018 it was hosted at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium and shifted to the Baha Mar Resort in 2019.
According to Rothstein, the 2020 edition of the tournament will be relocated to Naples, Florida.
The field includes Austin Peay, Drake, Drexel, Iona, Loyola Marymount, and Toledo.
The tournament is a product of BD Global, an event management and public relations firm, and one of the largest providers of college basketball content in the United States.
Its previous work in the Bahamas has included two Web.com Tour events, the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay and the Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club on Winding Bay.
The partnership between bd Global Sports, the Baha Mar Resort and the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation produced an initiative to relocate its events to Baha Mar following Hurricane Dorian.
Baha Mar recently issued a statement further delaying the opening of its resort.
According to Tribune Business, the Cable Beach mega resort, and its Melia Nassau Beach property, hinted strongly they may not re-open until Christmas at earliest - and possibly not until 2021.